The Society for Physician Entrepreneurs DFW chapter and Health Wildcatters recently co-hosted gastroenterologist, speaker, and author Dr. Michael Weisberg at their annual monthly meeting. There, Weisberg gave his TedxSMU Talk discussing how the art of medicine became business in the 21st century.
Weisberg, who has been practicing medicine for 27 years in Plano, says he’s observed changes in the concept of doctor-patient relationships. About a decade ago, he felt no one was addressing the fact that “when you became sick, your doctor no longer took care of you.” Weisberg said the doctor who had taken care of you for five, 10, or 15 years was willing to take care of you as long as you were well; however, once you were sick and went to the hospital, a whole new set of doctors—called “hospitalists”—took care of you.
Weisberg explained that hospitalists typically don’t know the patients or have any history of taking care of them. While he said most of the time things go well, because doctors in America do an outstanding job overall, the absence of having any history with a patien, or not knowing the family’s wishes for the patient, can leave room for disaster. Thus, Weisberg wrote a book to illustrate how the practice of medicine had become a rigorous business in the modern century.
“When you go to the hospital, it’s best to have an advocate with you–someone in the family or a close friend that can be with you,” Weisberg said. “That person knows that your medication list has been given correctly, that you are seeing the proper doctors, and that things are progressing the way they should.”
He said this kind of practice opens up a paradox in the United States: On one hand, our hospitals and physicians are equipped with the highest level of medical technology; yet, there also appears to be a growing decline in the area of long-term doctor-patient relationships.
Hubert Zajicek, chapter head of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs DFW, told D CEO Healthcare that Weisberg’s speech was a fine example of a caring physician identifying a problem that has manifested itself over the last few decades.
“While there are no immediate solutions to the problem, the first step is to identify it [which Weisberg has done],” Zajicek said. “And it would be my hope that technology could contribute in alleviating some of these continuity-of-care issues.”