Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    I Am Woman; Pay Me More: Did you know that women are more caring and thoughtful doctors, therefore they should be paid more per patient?

    The practices of female primary care physicians are different from those of their male counterparts, according to data collected by Dr. Horner-Ibler, director of the Center for Population Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.

    Typically, women doctors find that their patient panels are highly complex and predominantly female -- often because these patients seek out female physicians.....

    ....."As a woman physician, I know I spend much more time with patients than my male colleagues," Dr. Horner-Ibler said. "I spend probably double the amount of time in phone calls to patients that my male colleagues spend in a week. What surprised me [in this research] was the fact that nothing in my experience is unique. Women everywhere in every system are experiencing these stressors. ... The data we have thus far clearly show that the essence of the job is different for women because of how patients sort themselves out."

    To deal with this, practices need to devise a compensation plan that reflects the different patient panels women physicians treat, she said.

    "Someone has to see these more difficult patients, and who better than women? But practices need to understand that seeing these patients requires more time and energy and that more time needs to be allotted to women physicians [to treat these patients]," Dr. Horner-Ibler said.

    ..."Revenue sharing in practices, where men are seeing more patients and women are seeing more difficult patients, should be implemented, so that all physicians and all patients find themselves more satisfied, less stressed and healthier," she said.

    Dr. Horner-Ibler, the article reveals, sees about eight patients per half day and still runs behind. That's thirty minutes a patient. Apparently she never sees anyone for colds or sprained ankles. Maybe her practice uses physician's assistants or nurse practitioners for those. Or maybe she's just not very efficient.

    Full disclosure - by the standards of this article I practice more like a man than a woman. What's more, I know several men physicians who practice more like a woman than a man. They feel it's necessary to go through every minute detail of a history with patients regardless of the reason the patient has come to see them, and regardless of the value that information will serve in diagnosing and treating the patient. An analogous situation would be a hair dresser who insists on cutting hair only one strand at a time. Would anyone seriously argue that the slow hairdresser should get paid more than those who can cut hair just as well, but more than one strand at a time?

    What's more, we already have a system that compensates us by the level of complexity of our patients. If a physician truly is spending more time with patients because they are more complex - and not just because the physician isn't skilled enough to direct the flow of conversation properly - then he (or she) can charge the higher price for complex visits. The catch, of course, is that it has to be documented. And listening for thirty minutes as someone talks about their Aunt Millie's colitis hospitalization doesn't cut it with the documentation police.


    posted by Sydney on 6/14/2005 05:01:00 PM 0 comments


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006