Finally. Politicians are coming around to Slow Medicine and the Efficiency of Inefficiency!

“Health Minister Leo Glavine says the province’s new doctors will have fewer patients.

“The new doctors we have on contract are going to practice differently, what I call slow medicine,” he said in an interview with the Chronicle Herald this week.

“They’re going to take a lot more time with patients and take on a lot less patients,” he said, acknowledging the province is struggling under the weight of an aging population, cancer, cardiac and chronic disease.

Older, more established, doctors in the province have patients numbering into the thousands and a reduction in patient load has been progressive. Doctors hired about six years ago have about 1,200 patients, but newer ones hired on contract within the past year only have around 500, he said.”

 

For the full article, see http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1453192-doctors-moving-toward-fewer-patients-glavine

The Inefficiency of Efficiency

An excellent article, finally, on Medical Taylorism, has been published in the New England Journal of Medicinehttp://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1512402.

Frederick W. Taylor was the fellow who wrote The Principles of Scientific Management, ironically enough, published the same year as Abraham Flexner’s report on how to make medical schools that could educate excellent, humanistic and scientific physicians. Taylor was the efficiency expert who followed his factory workers around with a stopwatch, broke their crafts into single tasks, and insisted that each one do the repetitive, mind-numbing work that has come to represent the twentieth century. He fired those who continued to try to practice their craft as a craft, as “inefficient.”

In this essay,  Hartzband and Groopman analyze how this same approach, Taylorism, is now being applied to physicians, and is not simply pernicious, but wrong. Worth reading.