Recent studies have shown that doctors may be overdiagnosing, and overtreating, some types of cancer.
I have a friend who has lung cancer -- the "good," slow-growing kind. His doctors have been less kind than the cancer. They keep screwing up in ways that seem likely to kill my friend before his cancer does.
With my disclosure, I am holding myself publicly accountable to my patients. I am saying that I don't have anything to hide from you. I know you are vulnerable, but I'll be vulnerable with you. This is a partnership. We're in this together.
Better screening tools are detecting more cancers. Women's lives have been saved. These same tools are identifying more cancers that won't result in any harm.
The signers of a new open letter are concerned about excessive psychiatric treatment, excessive dosing, careless polypharmacy, and unnecessary hospitalizations. And so am I. But I am equally concerned about inadequate funding of mental health care and lack of access to treatment for people who need it.
The evidence is compelling that we in the developed countries (especially the US) are overtesting for disease, overdiagnosing it, and overtreating.
We must bring back the art of medicine and the art of healing and treat all of our patients with a "listening infusion."
Not surprisingly, doctors end up not tolerating uncertainty. In our high-tech era, this means more is done. A patient has seemingly vague symptoms, so the doctor orders some laboratory tests "just to get a baseline."
It took me a decade -- first as a caregiver to my mother, and then as a practicing physician and patient advocate -- to figure out that the story is absolutely fundamental to medical practice. Indeed, it can save your life.
We already had a crisis in psychiatric diagnosis before DSM-5. It is a sure sign of excess that 25 percent of us qualify for a mental disorder and that 20 percent are on psychiatric medication.
The latest in APA's fluffy public relations has come from the president of the American Psychiatric Association. He has made two astounding claims -- that criticism of DSM-5 is somehow equivalent to criticism of psychiatry and that it signifies stigma against mental illness.
The DSM-5 field trial fiasco and its attempted cover-up is more proof (if any were needed) that APA has lost its competence and credibility as custodian for DSM.
If you want to get a clearer understanding not only of why the U.S. health care system fails so many of us but, more importantly, how we can transform it to make it the best in the world, go to the movies this weekend.
But the tide may be turning: Last month a group of nine medical specialty boards recommended that physicians cut back on
Grief is the normal and absolutely unavoidable price we must pay for having the capacity to love -- it is most certainly not a disease.
Preventive psychiatry may someday be of significant service in reducing the burden of human suffering -- but only if it can be done really well. And the sad truth is that we don't yet have the necessary tools.
Those who have to pay huge chunk of their income for health insurance won't care about the Supreme Court's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution; they will care about the constitution of their own wallets and checking accounts.
If Wall Street messed with your wealth, imagine how it is messing with your health. Investor-owned, for-profit health care is determining the medical treatment you get.
President Obama can save Medicare without putting the burden on older Americans. And yes, it is possible to have great health care in America if Medicare is a good steward of the money the public has entrusted to it.