ATTN: Edmonton, Feb 3, 2016 Picard Lecture: Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care

Gilbert Welch (img used without permission,  Beacon Broadside )

Gilbert Welch (img used without permission, Beacon Broadside)

I just learned of this event in Edmonton, on Feb 3rd. Don't miss it!

Welch is a persuasive champion of 'less is more' in medicine, and his talks are inspiring, dynamic, and necessary. If you can't attend, check out his latest book, Less Medicine, More Health. RSVP details below. - J.


From The University of Alberta (original post):

"Many doctors are worried about the problems caused by too much medical care. A recent survey suggested that nearly one-half said their patients received too much medical care. But it is hard to communicate the nuances – that medical care can do a lot of good in selected settings, but can also do harm in others – during a 10-15 minute clinic visit.

Doctors like to blame lawyers for the problem of too much medical care. But ask yourself this: Would the problem of overuse disappear if the lawyers disappeared? Economists like to blame economics. But the recipe of adding fee for service to third-party payment to cook up too much medical care would not work without strong underlying beliefs about the value of the product. The general public harbors assumptions about medical care that encourage overuse.

I’m not blaming the public; many of these assumptions flow directly from information provided to them – be it from the news media, talk shows, advertising, PR campaigns, disease advocacy groups, public service announcements or doctors themselves.

Regardless of their source, these assumptions lead individuals to have an excessively optimistic view of medical care. That leads them to seek – some would say to demand, others to accept – too much care.

February 3, 2016
12:00
McLennan Ross Hall (Rm 231/237), Law Centre (111 - 89 Ave)
University of Alberta - Edmonton, AB

Please RSVP here.

Dr. Welch is a general internist and professor of Medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research in the Geisel School of Medicine. He is also a professor of Public Policy at Dartmouth College and a professor of Business Administration at the Amos Tuck School.

For the 25 years he has been practicing medicine, Dr. Welch has been asking hard questions about his profession. His arguments are frequently counter-intuitive, even heretical, yet have regularly appeared in the country's most prestigious medical journals — Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute — as well as in op-eds in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. His most recent book is Less Medicine, More Health – 7 Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care.

Dr. Welch is very much part of the “Dartmouth School” that questions the assumption that more medical care is always better. His research has focused on the assumption as it relates to diagnosis: that the best strategy to keep people healthy is early diagnosis – and the earlier the better. He has delineated the side-effects of this strategy: physicians test too often, treat too aggressively and tell too many people that they are sick. Much of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening: in particular, screening for melanoma, thyroid, lung, breast and prostate cancer."

A New Kind of Rounds: Type 2 Diabetes in the Elderly CME

Thanks to my local Division of Family Practice and the Practice Support Program (PSP), we were able to put together "A New Kind of Rounds" event all about helping patients find the right amount of medicine. 

Our first event, focussed on Type 2 Diabetes in the Elderly, and specifically the harms of treating this too aggressively. Inspired by the Lown Institute's RightCare Rounds and the DoNoHarm Project, we started with patient cases in which the patient's perspective highlighted the burden of treatment and the potential harms of too much medicine.

After small-group case learning, I presented a didactic session reviewing the unique factors that change our approach to management in the elderly, the best available evidence on diagnosis and treatment targets, the current guidelines, and some resources that clinicians and patients can refer to in order to make shared decisions about the "right amount" of care.

The event was well-attended and it was heartwarming to see the level of engagement on this topic from clinicians in our community; we are reviewing the evaluations to consider some changes to the format. Participants also generated an amazing of possible topics for future events, from hypertension to cancer-screening, and anti-psychotic use in the elderly to the annual physical. 

The slides are available here.

Your feedback is most welcome. You can comment below or e-mail. 

My other lectures can be viewed here.

Source: http://prezi.com/ln78vzbqpu4-/?utm_campaig...

REGISTER: 50th Annual Post Grad. Review in Family Medicine (Vancouver)

Interested in updating your core family practice knowledge?

Want to hear about the Choosing Wisely campaign, or some 'next steps' if you're already an expert? 

I'll be speaking at The University of British Columbia (UBC) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 50th Annual Post-Graduate review in Family Medicine. I was asked to speak about the Choosing Wisely Canada Campaign and it's an exciting opportunity to share my passion for this and other initiatives within the movement towards appropriateness in care.

As some of the audience may already be familiar with the campaign and using it regularly, I will also offer some "next steps" ideas for these keeners.

My talk, "Choosing Wisely (& Beyond): Starting Conversations Around Unnecessary Tests and Procedures " is at 11:05 on Tuesday, February 25th. To see slides/handouts from my previous talks or to see scheduled upcoming talks, go to the MEDIA/TALKS section of the site.

The Post Graduate Review is a pretty high-yield, practical sort of CME event and knowing some of this year's speakers, I can say I'm really looking forward to talks on Palliative Care, Interesting Cases in Rheumatology, Counselling Anti-Vaccine Parents, Weight Loss in Obesity, and many more! [Sadly I'll miss some of them as my partner's vacation starts on the 26th and we'll be off adventuring, but when it comes to vacation, more is more ;) ]

 

Hope to see you there! (See the brochure and registration form or register online)

My #FMF2014 talk slides: Less is More in Medicine

My Family Medicine Forum talk slides are now posted here. It's also embedded below.

Other talks will always be posted in the media/talks section.

Thank you to all of you who attended! I would love your feedback - please fill out your evaluations or email me lessismoremedicine@gmail.com

 


"Less is More" Medical School Lecture

I had a great time on Monday presenting the "Less is More" concept with Dr James McCormack  to the 2nd year UBC medical students. I remember being in second year, struggling to memorize physiological pathways, neuroanatomy, an approach to diagnosing gastrointestinal bleeds, and at the same time being so eager to apply the knowledge in the clinical encounters we had. I can imagine it would be hard to hear "a lot of the stuff you are learning is important, but..."

We encouraged the students to take a step back, to remember they are caring for people (not diseases), and to use their critical thinking and common sense to partner with patients in decision-making. We emphasized the lack of evidence for much of what we do, the need to consider the harms of what may at first seem like benign tests and treatments, and to employ help (like Shared Decision Making tools) when talking with patients.

I've got some ideas as to what to include/exclude/change for similar talks I have lined up in the near future, including wishing I could bottle James' sense of humour and share that with everyone!

The questions from the students were keen, things like (paraphrased):

  • How can you approach these kind of ideas when a preceptor doesn't agree? (eg. one might feel pressured into giving an antibiotic for what seems to be a viral infection, because a supervisor insists)
  • What is the role of the provincial government, or what can they be asked to change?
  • Isn't overdiagnosis and overtreatment a function of physician payment schemes? Do we need to change the way we are remunerated?

Yikes! Next generation of healthcare, watch out! No one has perfect responses to these, but is exciting to exist in a time in which we are working on trying to answer these and other hard questions about the future of our health care system.

You can see a copy of our slides over in the Media/Talks section.