Monday, April 23, 2012

The gold standard

One thing i found interesting in The Gold Standard was the transition of the way doctors keep records of their patients. Before we had our modern technologies doctors used to keep journals or diaries of their patients medical histories, they would also make quick scribbles of their visits an records. It was unorganized and propably easily lost and it was har to put together someones medical hostory if they saw many dofferent doctors. Now we have computers and data bases which makes everything more organized an easier to acess. I also found it disturbing that certain illnesses or disorders are made up just so drug companies can keep functioning and making money. By reading this book as well as the previous ones it makes me question what is the goals of many doctors because from these readings it shows doctors are more about making money an politics rather then helping people. The authors also state that it is inevitable to keep everyone alive so they save mainly the people who are in a better state an they just leave the ones who are worse off to die.


  1. I, too, found the history of the emergence of standardization fascinating. I particularly found it it interesting that women were primarily the ones in charge of record keeping. It made me think about the implications this has had on health care careers in general and whether this contributed to the stigma of health care assistants being female. I also found the standardization of patient records intriguing because it's a topic I've never given much thought and the book provided insight into its implications.

  2. I grapple with whether or not these online patient-databases are actually as beneficial as they appear to be. I believe it was Jerome Groopman who pointed out in "How Doctors Think" that the new, highly me electronic medical system ensures that your doctor has one eye on the clock and one eye on the computer. Personally, I'd prefer my doctor to only be distracted by one thing (whether that's the clock or the screen is another question on its own.) I am not suggesting that we revert back to the old clipboard system per se. After all, how convenient is it that your doctor can simply whip out his Blackberry to send your prescription to your pharmacy via text? But I do believe certain standards (keyword) should be put into play wherein only your PA or nurse is allowed to use the computer before your doctor examines you and more generally, that your doctor isn't fidgeting around with his computer or handheld gadgets during your time (which is already limited!) together. Maybe I'm just an extremist.