As a self described Information Flaneur who wanders aimlessly around the Internet and my world searching for what I don’t know that I don’t know, I did not expect to find any rhyme or reason to my 2012 blog posts. And yet when I read them today on New Year’s Eve to select the Best of 2012, I surprised myself by finding six coherent and recurring overarching themes:
· American physicians have lost their way and need to undergo intense self-scrutiny
· American health plans need to reinvent themselves or disappear
· The digital future of medicine is fascinating and largely unknowable
· There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences
· The American preoccupation with Happiness is wrongheaded but extremely important
· Understanding and explaining the Affordable Act takes a lot of time and energy, but it is worth it
American physicians have lost their way and need to undergo intense self-scrutiny
Some of my closest colleagues found it amusing that I of all people wrote passionately about the need for physicians to embrace humility and win the battle for the soul of American Medicine.“Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change” is a Frank Lloyd Wright quotation that I used ironically at the start of one of my diatribes calling for physicians to undergo intense self-scrutiny, and my closest friend said he thought Wright could be speaking for me.
Siri Hustvedt’s elegant book review of Oliver Sacks’ new book Hallucinations convinces me I need to read more of Sacks and re-read some of Hustvedt’s novels to make better sense of this complex subject. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/books/review/hallucinations-by-oliver-sacks.html)
The American preoccupation with Happiness is wrongheaded but extremely important
Patricia Salber, MD, MBA is the founder and host of The Doctor Weighs In (TDWI). She is also the CEO of Health Tech Hatch, the sister site of TDWI that helps innovators tell their stories to the world. She trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at UC San Francisco and practiced emergency medicine for many years before becoming a physician executive. She has worked for a large integrated delivery system, a very large employer purchaser, and health insurers. She has consulted for CMS, health plans, quality improvement organizations, amongst others. She is currently an adviser to a number of innovative startups in digital health. She knows the industry inside out. She also loves to write about almost anything that has to do with healthcare.