Sunday, January 2, 2011

The State of Medicine

Our practice, to my surprise, keeps going in a stable fashion, despite all the changes whirling around us. Medicare has had us register electronically in an incredibly complicated fashion, asking for various identification numbers in a 40 plus page document. Physical exams will apparently be covered for the new year, although at a discounted rate. We shall see how primary care does in the next couple of years. The need is overwhelming, and fewer medical students and residents are choosing the field. I do not know whether all, or any, of the changes legislated in the new health care law will be enacted. The states need to be involved in its implementation, and many so-called red states are not very keen on enabling the process. We shall see.

As always, I am looking forward to seeing and taking care of my patients. January is historically a difficult month. There is the inevitable post-holiday letdown on the part of patients, and the weather typically plays havoc with the commute and with scheduling. I am also looking forward to working with a new set of physician assistant and medical students. Their insights and lectures teach me as much as I teach them.

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