Addressing Health Disparities: Clinical Insights on Race and Social Justice

A Webinar Series Offering Clinical Perspectives on Racial and Social Justice Issues

It’s no secret that racial and social disparities continue to affect the health of our communities across the United States. With increased attention resulting from the high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and the growing inequities stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, this weekly Harvard Medical School web series, Addressing Health Disparities: Clinical Insights on Race and Social Justice seeks to explore how race and racism affect the health of our communities. Continue reading “Addressing Health Disparities: Clinical Insights on Race and Social Justice”

Prescribing Size-Inclusive Home Fitness Routines in the Era of COVID-19

By Jamie Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD
September 17, 2020

In the time of COVID-19, routines have changed drastically and frequently. This has impacted many areas of the lives of Americans, including fitness routines. Gyms, if open, often have restrictions. So how can you best support your patients who need physical exercise? Continue reading “Prescribing Size-Inclusive Home Fitness Routines in the Era of COVID-19”

Do You Know When to Refer Your Patient to a Dietitian?

By Jamie Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD
August 12, 2020

During my tenure as a dietitian in a rural community hospital, I provided all the outpatient nutrition counseling for the facility. Sometimes patients sought out my guidance on their own, but most often, they were referred to me by a physician. While most referrals were made in a manner that was timely and appropriate for the diagnosis, some were not.

This post, therefore, is a dietitian’s perspective on best practices for physicians referring patients for nutrition care that can be delivered in a way that is helpful to support medical care. Continue reading “Do You Know When to Refer Your Patient to a Dietitian?”

How Physicians Can Prepare for Emerging Trends in Health Care Delivery

By Christopher Ugo Oseh, MBBS
July 23, 2020

This trend clearly indicates the need for physicians who are both clinically and technologically savvy to provide health care in the future.

Health care delivery services have been transformed by advances in health technology, and technology-based health care seems to be gaining ground. According to a McKinsey survey taken in April 2020, the adoption of telehealth services by United States citizens increased from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. Although much of this accelerated adoption has been linked to restricted health care access caused by the coronavirus pandemic, experts are projecting a further increase in telehealth service adoption post-pandemic as many clients realize they prefer to access health care remotely rather than consulting in person with their doctors in a hospital. Continue reading “How Physicians Can Prepare for Emerging Trends in Health Care Delivery”

I Don’t Feel like a Hero: Imposter Syndrome and Perfectionism During a Pandemic

By Gail Gazelle, MD, MCC 
June 25, 2020

When Jeff left his ED shift at a New York City hospital in mid-April, he felt like anything but a hero. He’d intubated three COVID-19 patients: a 63-year-old businessman, an 82-year-old woman who reminded him of his grandmother, and a 45-year-old mother of two teens. The elderly woman and the businessman were transferred to the ICU. The mother of two teens was not; she expired in the ED.

By the end of his shift, Jeff felt a crushing weight of sadness and anguish unlike anything he’d experienced in his 15 years as an emergency physician—this shift was now his new norm. Continue reading “I Don’t Feel like a Hero: Imposter Syndrome and Perfectionism During a Pandemic”

Confronting COVID-19 and Social Media: A Hospitalist Speaks Out On Re-Opening

By Melissa Bartick, MD, MS, FABM
June 9, 2020

As a hospitalist treating COVID-19 patients in the Boston area, a hot-spot, I seem to live in two conflicting worlds. At the peak of the epidemic, I would go to work and witness the sickness and death that COVID can bring. Then I would look on Facebook, and be met with angry voices writing from locales that have seen little of COVID. People were angry about wearing masks, about staying at home, about job losses. And as the pandemic has worn on, they have become angry about haircuts and all things re-opening. What messages have I told people and what messages have helped? Continue reading “Confronting COVID-19 and Social Media: A Hospitalist Speaks Out On Re-Opening”

Best Practices for Patient Engagement with Telehealth

Ted James, MD, MHCM
June 2, 2020

“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible, and safe as online banking.”

— Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association

Health care organizations are actively leveraging telemedicine as a natural solution to connecting with patients while addressing new social distancing realities. Honestly, I found it difficult at first to establish an effective rapport with patients using telehealth, especially for new patient consults. Many physicians report difficulty making the transition to virtual patient encounters.

The learning curve was more than I had expected, and my first few telehealth visits seemed disengaged and sterile. Not to mention having to deal with technical problems. In response, I looked for resources about making meaningful connections with patients, despite the loss of physical presence. I also looked at how to apply the basics of patient-centered communication to this new digital platform. As it turns out, you can learn techniques to become more comfortable and improve your ‘web-side manner.’ Continue reading “Best Practices for Patient Engagement with Telehealth”

The Role of Doctors in the COVID-19 “Infodemic”

By Dr. Marwa Saleh
May 19, 2020

In late March, several news outlets1,2 ran headlines stating that hundreds of Iranians died and others went blind after drinking adulterated alcohol for protection against COVID-19—some of them were children. On a similar note, the Journal of Histopathology documented the case3 of a 41-year-old American who was hospitalized after drinking disinfectant leading to the severe injury of her small bowels.

Other stories include  a father who died of COVID-19 after delaying medical help because he believed that COVID-19 was just like the flu, and the couple5 who ingested chloroquine (not intended for human use) leading to the death of the husband and hospitalization of the wife.

The tragic incidents were the result of misinformation and these consequences aren’t rare; A WHO report6 in February stated that we were facing a “massive infodemic.” The hazards of misinformation are vivid—misinformation costs lives. Continue reading “The Role of Doctors in the COVID-19 “Infodemic””

Leading Beyond the COVID-19 Health Care Crisis

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
May 5, 2020

The disruptive nature of the global pandemic has created a rapidly changing environment with long-lasting implications for health care far beyond the immediate crisis.

It is unlikely that we will simply revert back to normal; new ways of thinking will be required and the ability to adapt to new realities and prepare for an unknown future will mean the difference between success and failure. The challenge calls leaders to navigate uncertainty while restructuring care in an abruptly transformed health system.  Continue reading “Leading Beyond the COVID-19 Health Care Crisis”