Recent Posts by Ken Teufel

Dr. Ken’s Corner: Medicare to Pay for End-of-Life Discussions

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Evidence shows that patients who have had end-of-life discussions with their physicians are more likely to die at home or in a comfortable setting, instead of in a hospital intensive care unit. Not only is this seen as a kinder, gentler way to die, it's a lot less expensive than being…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: The 15 Minute Consult: A Catch-22

By: Dr. Ken Teufel With one eye on the clock and the other on the patient, a doctor hopes the patient will stick to the chief complaint and not bring out a “laundry list” of their health concerns.  Predictably, the 15 minute norm for patient consults can quickly turn into a “struggle for control” over the…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Retraining and Re-entry: Now There’s An Idea

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Some would argue that there are enough practicing physicians in the United States --- 767,000 at last count.  They say the problem is twofold: (1) There aren't enough doctors in the right places, and (2) There aren't enough primary care physicians, especially family doctors. More than 50,000 additional family practitioners will…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Is the Free Standing ER a Good Thing?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Not to be confused with urgent care clinics, the doors to free standing emergency rooms are open around-the-clock and are expected to provide the same level of care as a hospital-based emergency room.  Staffed and equipped to take care of bona fide emergencies, from major trauma to heart attacks and strokes,…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Should Patients Have Access to Your Notes?

By:Dr. Ken Teufel It's a perennial question with vocal advocates on both sides:  Should your patients have access to the notes you make in their medical records?  It's based, in part, on the idea that better-informed patients will take better care of themselves, that the doctor-patient relationship should be less paternalistic, more of a partnership. …
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Are Americans Getting Too Much Medical Care?

By. Dr. Ken Teufel Nearly one-half of primary care physicians say their patients receive too much medical care.  Only 6% say  they are receiving too little.  This is according to a  random sampling of 627 practicing physicians published in  the Archives of Internal Medicine.  Doctors themselves  admit that there's way too much testing and overly …
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Is “Standardized” Care the New Standard of Care?

­ By: Dr. Ken Teufel We all know that practicing defensive medicine is commonplace.  “Overtesting” — doing unnecessary lab work and other diagnostic studies (some invasive) — is justified as a way to stay out of the court room.  In some cases, physicians are simply bending to “what the patient wants done.”  To counteract test…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: On the Horizon: Complete Overhaul of Residency Training

By. Dr. Ken Teufel Teaching hospitals have been put on notice: The time has come to close the open checkbook.  The federal government, mostly through the Medicare program, currently pays hospitals $11 billion a year to train interns and residents.  The states contribute another $4 billion through the Medicaid program. “The scale of government support…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: How Americans Choose Their Doctors: A New Study

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Online ratings of physician quality have less influence than we may have thought, according to a recent national survey. When it comes to choosing a personal physician, two-thirds of Americans say they turn to friends or family for recommendations. A “good bedside manner” outweighs “competence” two to one as the most…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Working in Retirement: An Attractive Option for Many

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Rarely does one hear of a physician taking “early retirement.”  In fact, many physicians continue working well past the traditional retirement age of 65.  Being a doctor is “who they are,” and it’s hard to walk away from that part of their personal identity.  But this is only part of the…
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