Interim Physicians Blog

Meet Dr. Michelle Bens: Queen of the court, the ER, and locum tenens

Posted by Saralynn White on Sep 6, 2018 11:03:23 AM

To celebrate Women in Medicine Month (sponsored by the American Medical Association) we wrote about one of our favorite female physicians, Dr. Michelle Bens. September's Women in Medicine Month serves as a platform to showcase the accomplishments of female physicians and highlights advocacy needs related to professional concerns of women physicians and health issues affecting women patients.

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Topics: American Medical Association, Emergency Medicine, Why locum, Doctors are choosing locum tenens, Michelle Bens DO, Michigan State University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, MI, Charleston, SC, AMA, Women in Medicine Month

Facing the Dilemma of Too Few Psychiatrists

Posted by Lauren Garvey on Jul 6, 2017 10:02:47 AM

It's been called the "silent shortage."  There are simply far too few psychiatrists and way too many Americans suffering from mental health issues.  Drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, and suicidal adolescents are only the tip of the iceberg.  Lack of timely and appropriate access to psychiatrists leaves others to struggle with life-draining episodes of depression and anxiety.

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Topics: American Medical Association, physician shortage, Dr. Ken's Corner, mental health, psychiatrist, psychiatrists, telepsychiatry

Top 5 Online Resources for New Physicians

Posted by Lauren Garvey on Aug 9, 2016 9:30:08 AM

You’ve passed your exams and completed your residency, but now you have to deal with a list of real-world challenges, like finding a job, paying back student loans, and deciding on which direction you’d like your career to go.

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Topics: locum tenens, Locum Tenens Daily, Our Blog, American Medical Association, CME, Gomer Blog, interim physicians, Kevin MD, medscape, new physicians, online resources, physician resources

The 15 Minute Consult: A "Catch 22"

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Nov 26, 2014 11:30:52 AM

With one eye on the clock and the other on the patient, a doctor hopes the patient will stick to the chief complaint and not bring out a "laundry list" of their health concerns.  Predictably, the 15 minute norm for patient consults can quickly turn into a "struggle for control" over the allocation of time, says Dr. Richard J. Baron, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine (Kaiser Health News, April 21, 2014).

"The patient is thinking: 'I'm taking the afternoon off work for this appointment.  I've waited three months for it.  I've got a list of things to discuss.'  The doctor is thinking: 'I've got 15 minutes.'  There is almost a built-in tension," says Dr. Alex Lickerman of the University of Chicago.

How did the 15 minute consult become the norm? No one really knows, although it probably goes back to 1992 and Medicare's adoption of a complex formula that changed the way it paid doctors. Up until that time, Medicare had reimbursed doctors based on so-called "usual and customary fees." The "new" formula-determined method relied on "relative value units" (RVUs). "The typical office visit for a primary care patient was pegged at 1.3 RVUs, and the American Medical Association coding guidelines for that type of visit suggested a 15 minute consult," according to Roni Cary Rabin of Kaiser Health News.  Private insurers soon changed their fee schedule to be consistent with the Medicare formula.  "To avoid income cuts, doctors had to see more patients--instead of doing three an hour, they did four," according to Princeton health economist Uwe Reinhardt. The impact has been especially hard on primary care physicians since they don't generate revenue from procedures like colonoscopies and biopsies.

One of the most important elements of doctoring is making the patient feel they have been heard, says Dr. Lickerman. "People feel dissatisfied when they don't get a chance to say what they have to say," he said. "I will sometimes boast that I can make people feel they 'got their money's worth' in five minutes. it's not the actual time or lack of time people are complaining about--it's how that time felt."
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Topics: American Medical Association, Dr. Ken's Corner, Medicare formula, patient care, patient consults

All the Locum Tenens News that Matters Most to You

We write about the healthcare world and all-things locum tenens. From healthcare reform and new technology, to travel tips, and insightful commentary from our Medical Director, Dr. Ken Teufel – we cover what matters most to you. Is there a topic you’d like to read about? Share your ideas now.

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