Oysters and pearls

February 16, 2009

My current bedtime reading is biography of Lawrence Sterne. Sterne, who operated as a vicar outside York was apparently famed as a preacher but regularly got his source material from printed sermons that were available such as those by my old favourite Jonathan Swift.

I accidentally fell over this article on medical matters, Creative Dissatisfaction, and it its so appropriate I could almost follow Sterne borrowing from Swift. Not that I would date compare myself with either author. Perhaps the important thing is that this shows a doctor encouraging others doctors and patients to register their concerns on the Obama administration MyPolicy website in the US, to hopefully change things. I just hope the Obama administration makes use of the feedback they get!

I’ve come across a number of papers about improving patient satisfaction with medical treatment, which, in some ways parallels the customer versus citizen ambiguity that has been posed by managerialism. In the UK, we’ve had 60 years of a National Health Service, and as with government we are all shareholders in it, and also have rights and duties, particularly at the sharp end, as patients. If we are not satisfied we need to have the opportunity and confidence to say and the management need to adjust accordingly, if feasible.

Incidentally, Zuger’s paper can be found here, outside of the NEJM.