Few people recall the days when newspaper staffs included medical editors who focused on doctors, hospitals, medicine and medical developments. Among natural current topics for such a specialized journalist would be the difficulty one has in trying to contact a specialist to set a date soonest for an office visit or to reach a physician for input on a nagging medical condition.
Grumpy Editor knows of a woman with a severe back problem in late January whose earliest visit to a doctor’s group with 22 orthopedics was in far-off April. Then there’s a senior bachelor who just returned home after spending three months in a hospital, terming the confinement “just terrible.”
What’s going on?
Dr. Diana Hoppe, an obstetrician and gynecologist, founder of Amazing Over 40 Inc., a health coaching certification program for women and an author/speaker who has been featured on a number of TV shows, including “Dr. Oz,” puts some light on the situation, listing what she calls “staggering, and depressing, statistics.”
- From 2011 to 2014, the rate of physician burnout increased to 54.5 percent from 45.5 percent, with the most common burnout symptom being emotional exhaustion.
- The rate of suicidal ideation among physicians jumped from 4 percent to 7.2 percent, an increase of 80 percent.
- Physician work-life balance is completely awry --- with 44.5 percent of physicians lacking adequate time for their personal and/or family life.
- The U.S. faces a shortage of as many as 90,000 physicians by 2025, including a critical need for specialists to treat an aging population that will increasingly live with chronic disease.
- Health care costs in the U.S. are higher than any other country.
- Eighty-six percent of all health care spending in 2010 was for people with one or more chronic medical conditions.
- About 70 percent of chronic conditions could be treated with lifestyle changes.
Dr. Hoppe hastens to point out that the most common chronic and costly medical conditions in the U.S. today are preventable. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis are conditions that could be treated with simple changes in patients’ behavior.
She cites four of the most common health risk behaviors that cause chronic disease are lack of exercise or physical activity, poor nutrition, smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Her suggestion to doctors: “Rather than handing them a list of prescription medications, give your patients a weekly nutrition and exercise journal.”
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Grumpy Editor edges out Associated Press by 19 days in reporting an increase in cable and Internet charges to Cox Communications customers with the Feb. 1 posting on the fee battle between Cox and Las Vegas’ CBS-TV outlet KLAS…On top of a crime: The Feb. 19 issue of a newspaper (largest daily in its state) reports a description of three men in connection with a bank robbery --- on Dec. 8. Story includes what the bad guys were wearing (such as “a black hoodie and a white bandana mask”), like they might be in the same attire more than 10 weeks later…It’s layoffs for some Yahoo employees as it focuses its resources on four key verticals: news, sports, finance and lifestyle…What are consumers doing with the money saved on lower-price gas these days? One survey finds while many people say they put the extra cash toward savings, credit card data reveal the money is being spent at restaurants…Wine Market Council research finds millennials drank 42 percent of wine consumed in the U.S. last year, more than any other generation at an average of two cases per person…Bloomberg reports dozens of members of Congress plan to ask the Obama administration to review the planned acquisition of the Chicago Stock Exchange by a Chinese firm, to assess whether it poses a national security risk or a risk to the companies traded on the exchange…In Japan, as Shinzo Abe’s government seeks to silence criticism, Hiroko Kuniya, a leading TV anchor known for her tough questioning style, will be replaced in April after 23 years hosting a social affairs show on public broadcaster NHK...Hillary Clinton, in a CBS interview Thursday says she doesn't believe she has ever told a lie and vowed to do her best to be honest going forward...Think of how many times South Carolina was mentioned on television in the past two weeks.
Paying monthly cable bill for this?
CNBC yesterday (Sunday) listed paid programming all day through 7 p.m. Eastern.