Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Flu Vaccine distribution

Breathless posts are flying in from physicians throughout the country to the AAFP 'prez' list (private, moderated) describing broken promises of delivery of flu vaccine.

Post themes:

1. Little guy suffering at the hands of the big guy.
"I paid for 500 doses with a guaranteed delivery of Sept 30 and got 100 on Oct 3 with the balance who knows when. Meanwhile, [fill in bigbox retailer here] is advertising in my town and my patients are all reporting they've gotten their vaccine from them."

2. This one small minimally profitable task is pulled out of our hands by the market in the name of 'public health' while other less profitable (or frankly money losing) but more important public health problems are pushed into physicians offices.

3. Splintering of the medical home.

4. Revisits and rework for flu clinics/visits scheduled and now rescheduled.

5. Conflation of health with consumerism in the market.

6. Does the early push by big box retailers push the vaccine window too early?

CDC Podcasts (including flu vaccination information)
CDC Flu Pages

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If choice leaves you unhappy, make your own happiness

If you haven't figured it out I love TED talks. Great ideas from interesting people. Dan Gilbert's work on happiness was posted just before Barry Schwartz' choice conundrum (see below.) If choice causes problems, then Dan Gilbert explains how we can make ourselves happy with what otherwise seem poor choices. Is this how we rationalize our healthcare mess?

The Choice Backlash

I've always been vaguely uncomfortable when universal coverage discussions turn to 'patient choice' of coverage, provider and plan. Now I know why. Watch Barry Schwartz' discussion of 'The Paradox of Choice'.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The cost of recruiting

This summer I attended the AAFP's national conference of residents and students for the umpteenth time with some of our program faculty and residents to kick off the recruiting year. This annual August affair is quite the sight. A fellow faculty mate along for the trip estimates that the 14 programs recruiting resident applicants in our immediate vicinity spent nearly $100,000 for the three day exhibit fest. All that for a chance to meet a handful of students who might want to apply to your residency.

Seems like there should be a less expensive, more direct and targeted way to achieve the end: recruiting medical students to the specialty of family medicine.

Now that recruiting season is really heating up I can't wait to see how this year's version of future family physicians will play out as they walk across the recruiting stage. More later.