Only two countries worldwide allow direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs: The United States and New Zealand. Over 20 years (1997 to 2016) DTC prescription drug advertising in the U.S. increased from $1.3 billion to $6 billion "with a shift toward advertising high-cost biologics and cancer immunotherapy" (JAMA Network, January 1/8, 2019). According to the JAMA-published study, pharmaceutical companies bombarded the American consumer with 4.6 million ads in 2016. This includes 663,000 TV commercials (compared to 72,000 in 1997). The authors' conclusions: "Despite the increase in marketing over 20 years, regulatory oversight remains limited."
Topics: Dr. Ken's Corner
As a locum tenens doctor, you’re constantly traveling, adjusting to unfamiliar environments, and interacting with new people. That’s on top of the high-stress that already exists in your job. It can be hectic, that’s for sure.
We want to ensure locums physicians are always prepared with the best resources – it’s imperative that you have the support and knowledge you need to thrive in your profession! Plus, you can benefit by staying up to date on the world of mental health. That's why we compiled our five favorite mental health blogs. We highly recommend you add these to your regular reading rotation:
Despite rural-to-urban migration trends, millions of Americans still live in rural communities. Census figures show that they make up 25% of the nation's total population; yet fewer than 10% of U.S. physicians practice in rural communities, according to the National Rural Health Association. The situation is likely to get worse as older rural physicians retire and new medical school graduates choose high-paying, non-primary care specialties better suited for urban settings.
The consequences are predictable. A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that one out of every four people living in rural areas said they couldn't get the health care they needed recently. And about a quarter of those said the reason was that their health care location was too far or difficult to get to.
Topics: Rural Physician Shortage
Physicians spend most of their waking hours caring for and treating others. Often, they’re so focused on their patients that their own issues get little to no attention. It’s no wonder, then, that physician burnout has increased at a staggering rate.
Medscape’s 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report revealed that 44% of physicians report feeling burned out, experiencing “long-term, unresolvable job stress that leads to exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, cynical, and detached from the job, and lacking a sense of personal accomplishment.” In fact, physicians represent the highest suicide rate of any profession: one doctor commits suicide in the U.S. daily!
Topics: Physician Burnout
Instead of retiring at age 65, many doctors choose to continue practicing medicine well into their 70s and 80s. A national trend to test the competency of these older physicians appears to be gaining momentum, especially among some of the nation's largest hospital systems. Hospitals report growing concern that the mental and physical skills of some of their older physicians have deteriorated to the point of putting patient safety at risk. Paying special attention to "weeding out" impaired physicians once they have reached a certain age is proving to be a sensitive issue, to say the least.
This week is National Hospital Week – seven days to spend celebrating hope and healing, according to the American Hospital Association – and seven days to celebrate the women and men who support the health and wellbeing of our communities.
Despite the many challenges hospital face today, their commitment remains unshakable: to provide a wide array of benefits tailored to the particular needs of the communities they proudly serve.