Is it time we started enquiring about our Doctors Finances or should it just be a part of the normal documentation you get with a consultation?

NPR Before the Prescription ask about your Doctors Finances

Reading this NPR article by Dr Leana Wen, a Doctor who claims to receive no additional renumeration for providing the most appropriate care in her position as the Attending Emergency Physician at the George Washington University’s Emergency Department, and it seems to be a million miles away from the average Patient experience in the USA where the Patient is interrupted by their Doctor within 18 seconds.

Although I don’t think it’s still going to be easy to identify conflicts of interest because if an event organiser – or even the FDA – provides a Doctor with a ticket to attend an expensive conference/hotel or meeting should that Doctor share this information with their Patients because their attendence was indirectly funded by the big pharma/medical device sponsors of that conference? eg. should Dr Wen reveal that her TedX Courtland Talk suggesting Patients practice telling their stories before visiting a Doctor – I think it’s a much better idea and much safer to provide Patients with clinically validated tools to help them tell these stories and get them documented and heard – was indirectly supported by Johnny Walker and Pfizer’s financial contributions to help Ted create their amazing video sharing platform?

I really like the some of the suggestions in Dr Wen’s ‘Who’s My Doctor? The Total Transparency Manifesto’ and plan to introduce a paragraph that we’ll copy/paste to the bottom of every 3G Doctor Consultation Report detailing where the Doctor you consulted with gets their money, but I think it’s suggesting a colossal waste of valuable and ultimately very limited Doctor/Patient time to be suggesting that sharing this information becomes a part of the face-to-face consultation.

Perhaps this transparency is just something else that can only be afforded when we shift to documented consultations?

About David Doherty
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