- Picking this topic was inspired by the release of 2018’s edition of an annual report on physician compensation. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018 (Medscape)
- If you don’t want to scroll through 43 slides for all the details, the short version is that… Demand continues to push up physician salaries, yet gender and racial pay disparities persist (FierceHealthcare)
- That supply and demand thing that’s continuing to drive up salaries? It’s getting worse. Worse than ever: Physician shortage could hit 120K by 2030 (FierceHealthcare)
However…the consequences of that shortage might not be as dire as we might think because delivery of care is shifting. More technology and non-MD providers might help fill the gap. Is the doctor shortage problem overblown? (Healthcare Dive)
- This got us thinking about other issues facing physicians, the most obvious being burnout. The above article notes that burnout is a problem but isn’t contributing to the shortage. Still, it’s a huge problem for individuals. For a poignant look at burnout and it’s toll – including a horrible body count – check this first-hand story out: Physicians, Depression and Burnout (Scientific American)
- As we’ve noted before, this problem has been recognized and a lot of work is going on to fix it. A delegation went before Congress this week to present on a three-year-old collaboration designed to “develop best practices for reducing burnout and promoting wellness among medical professionals.” New Collaborative Tackles Clinician Burnout (Medpage Today)
- Finally, consolidation in healthcare – which we’ve been talking about a lot lately – may also help with physician burnout. This is consistent with what Dr. Jordan Asher noted in his recent interview with us. Hospital ownership of practice may reduce physician burnout (Medical Xpress)
We’re in the middle of listening to the Audible version of the 2011 novel Ready Player One. It takes the idea of virtual reality to a whole new level, in a dystopian world where millions participate in a massively multiplayer online game that is rendered in such perfect detail that many choose to withdraw from real society entirely. We’re not quite there, yet. However, based on the material coming into our inbox this week, it’s a good time to highlight some of the uses for VR and augmented reality (AR) in the real world of 2018.
- Always start with definitions so we know what we’re talking about. The Difference Between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality And Mixed Reality (Forbes)
- The applications for healthcare and medicine are significant, already providing new ways for clinicians to train and deliver care. Why Would Medical Professionals Need Virtual Reality? 4 Good Reasons (Healthcare in America)
- ^^ That article also has a nice, albeit brief, history of VR.
- One application the previous article didn’t mention is behavior change. Indeed, researchers and companies are looking at ways to use VR to help people “train” for situations that would otherwise get them in trouble. Virtual reality helps addicts practice saying ‘no’ (Modern Healthcare)
- And then there are ways that VR might be able to help prevent addiction in the first place by serving as an alternative to pharmaceutical interventions. Looking at you, opioid epidemic. Virtual reality serves as pain relief alternative (WXXI)
- Taking that idea further, the importance of VR for pain management was highlighted at a recent conference, according to one blogger. He mentions several other applications, as well. 5 Takeaways from the 2018 Virtual Medicine Conference (iMedicalApps)
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Because why not…
We’re not going to try and tie all these items together. We just thought it would be fun(?) and different to look at the relationship between Friday the 13th and health.
- Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? (STAT News)
- That article references a 1993 study with the same title asking the same question. We came across that paper separately, so here you go: Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? (BMJ)
- No, but really, is life riskier today relative to other days? Friday the 13th and mortality risk: an informal meta-analysis
- Regardless of the data, healthcare professionals aren’t a fan of the day. So be nice and extra-understanding with the clinicians in your life today. Friday the 13th and emergency departments: Why are hospitals so superstitious? (Australian Broadcasting Company)