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.
It's a perennial question with vocal advocates on both sides: Should your patients have access to the notes you make in their medical records? It's based, in part, on the idea that better-informed patients will take better care of themselves, that the doctor-patient relationship should be less paternalistic, more of a partnership. More than 20 institutions nationwide, including Harvard Medical School, Geisinger in Pennsylvania, and Harborview in Seattle have joined the Open Notes initiative in which physicians share their notes with an estimated 5 million patients (Shefali Lutha, Kaiser Health News, June 1, 2015). Those in favor of note-sharing say it puts patients "in a position to catch mistakes and have more informed conversations with their physicians. But others worry the practice could curb honesty in what doctors write about their patients, or cause confusion if patients misinterpret what's written."
Talk about physician burnout is rampant. Yet a majority of 4,600 physicians surveyed by Medscape say they're generally happy with their lives. Nearly 75% of doctors, whether self-employed or employed by others, expressed overall satisfaction with their work-life balance and income. Twenty percent were "neutral" while only 8% of employed doctors and 7% of those self-employed said they were dissatisfied with their situation.
What do Tess Gerritsen, Robin Cook, and Michael Palmer have in common? Known for their best-selling medical suspense novels, they are all physicians. If attendance at writing workshops is an indication, a growing number of doctors would like to follow in their footsteps.