Ted Talks: How Do We Heal Medicine
It is acknowledged that the medical systems are broken across board, and most doctors are losing focus on important issues. And so, there is existence of extraordinarily expensive treatments that pushes patients to the brink. For this reason, Dr. AtulGawande suggests that it is high time that we take a step back and redefine medical techniques and offer affordable treatment. In this way, the system will get rid of cowboy doctors and many patients will benefit immensely from medical services provided.
About Dr. AtulGawande
Dr. AtulGawande is a doctor by profession; a practicing surgeon at Brigham hospital and a public health journalist. He is the author of a number of books including; The Checklist Manifesto, Better, Complications, and the latest one, Being Mortal. He has been a writer for the New Yorker a number of years and a fully fledged professor at Harvard Medical School. In his career, he has won a number of accolades for writing on science topics amongst them is Lewis Thomas Prize and National Magazine Awards.
His Journey As A Writer
Dr. Gawande started writing when he was a surgical trainee, and ever since he has not looked back. He questioned himself how he can be good at what he does, and so decided to subject his positive thoughts into realistic actions. This included how best to sew a wound, make a cut, and pick the right person to accompany him to the operating room. He tries to pin-point the medicine crisis that exists around the globe and who is to blame; the insurance company or the doctors? Nevertheless, he realizes that the problem runs deep that these two ‘entities’.
It is during the formative stages of medical development that laid down strong tenets of how really doctors need to be good. However, the strong culture and set of values that were set at the beginning have been eroded over time. What remains at the moment is a group of uncaring physicians who have been awarded for the very purpose of acquiring skills. Of which, is relatively different from the previous groups (1920’s-1930’s) that existed at that particular point in time.
He insists that despite increase in number of specialists and development in medicine, the exorbitant costs of medication is not necessarily the correct way of doing things. In fact, the most expensive medication is not always the best option. Further, the less costly care has always turned out to be the best.
In his talk, he emphasizes on identifying failures and finding a solution. He compares the medical industry to other high-risk industries such as Aviation, and takes note that they have a checklist. In this case, he says that the use of a checklist can help solve broken system issues that exist in the medical field today.