Monday, October 18, 2010
How MDConsult helps me to become a better doctor
A book which I have found very useful in helping me to grow my practise is Dr Marshall Zaslove's text book, The Successful Physician - A Productivity Handbook for Practitioners.
Dr Zaslove emphasises that there are 3 tools you need to master if you want to become a successful doctor.
1. Time management, to improve your efficiency. Remember that you are a daily-wages earner - and the more productive you are, the better your clinic will run ! Doctors are often a major bottleneck in a clinic's efficiency ( but are often not smart enough to realise this , or too clueless to fix the problem. )
2. Relationship management ( which includes dealing with patients, staff and colleagues)
3. Knowledge management
In this post, I'd like to focus on knowledge management. The reason patients come to doctors is because doctors have expertise in a specific domain - medicine. However, the half-life of medical knowledge is very short in this day and age, when technology makes rapid advances every week. Doctors cannot afford to become outdated if they want to maintain their cutting edge.
Sadly, the truth is that most doctors in India, once they start practise, very rarely invest any time or energy in ensuring they are uptodate. While they will attend medical conferences for continuing medical education, most conferences are primarily social networking events which allows doctors to take a break and catch up with friends, rather than a means of learning more.
The USP for a doctor is his medical knowledgebase - and woe betide a doctor who does not read the latest medical journals and books. This is something which doctors in the US take for granted - but which most Indian doctors ignore, because they do not treat themselves as professionals who need to constantly hone their expertise and domain knowledge. ( Most Indian doctors have not bought a medical text book after they graduate; and many have never read a medical journal in their life after completing their MD). Most doctors depend upon their friendly medical representative to educate them - and we all know that the quality of the information which pharma companies provide is highly suspect !
There are many excuses for this sad state of affairs.
I am too busy.
I already know all this.
Medical journals are too expensive !
All these medical books are written by US doctors, so they do not apply to my practise
Who needs all this theory anyways ? Medicine is a practical science - and I am a master at this ! None of my friends bother to read, so why should I ?
However, if you become outdated, you will end up losing your patients to well-equipped specialists in corporate hospitals. This can also be embarrassing , when patients with internet printouts know more about their disease than you do ! Also, this failure to update yourself with the latest medical knowledge can result is lawsuits for medical negligence – the doctor’s biggest nightmare.
While you may try to use the internet to keep updated, the sad truth is there is very little high quality medical information available on the net !
The good news is that now for less than Rs 30 per day, Indian doctors can subscribe to the world's largest online medical library, MDConsult . This allows you to remain uptodate by providing online instant access to the FULL-TEXT of over 40 respected medical books and 50 prestigious medical journals which are constantly updated. This means you will never need to buy another medical book in your life ! MDConsult provides convenience and peace of mind – at your desktop - for only Rs 9995 per year ! This is a highly discounted price for Indian doctors only . You can take a free tour at http://info.mdconsult.com/tour/
In order to subscribe to the MDConsult Core Collection ( www.mdconsult.com), please mail a Demand Draft, for Rs 9995 only, payable to Health Education Library for People. For a little more than Rs 20 per day, you now have your own personal medical library, which is constantly updated, so you never need to buy another medical text book again in your life !
I know that using MDConsult has made a world of a difference to my practise. For example, while I know a lot about infertility, many patients with genetic diseases come to me for PGD treatment. Thanks to MDConsult, I now have instant access to reliable information on all genetic diseases - no matter how rare they are. I can share this with my patients, and my expertise dazzles them. Also, this knowledgebase allows me to impress my colleagues ; and helps me to prepare papers and presentations for medical conferences. It's also very useful when I need to talk to reporters and journalists.