DOCTOR'S VIEWS ARCHIVE

Lasers in The Jungle!...an editorial

SAN CLEMENTE--The words "modern medicine" conjure up a variety of images based on the experiences each of us have encountered when addressing issues of health. As medicine evolves at its current pace, for both consumers and providers of health care, there can be no singular image of the process of day to day provision or consumption of health care.

Today, the doctor-patient relation has changed and might be more accurately termed the "doctor-patient-hospital-insurer" relationship. Hospitals and insurers continue to form different associations between themselves, patients, and physicians, as they merge and splinter. Doctors are being asked to provide more and more services, for more and more consumers, in return for lower and lower reimbursement rates. Consumers are facing the challenges of choosing from a myriad of insurance programs (when truly given a choice) in order to then choose a doctor and/or hospital. Furthermore, consumers are facing the dissatisfaction inherent in a process that does not afford an adequate interlude for the exchange of medical information often so helpful in understanding conditions and assisting the decision-making that leads to optimal health.

The fact still remains that the physician and the patient are both participants together in thwarting illness. Each plays an important role in attacking acute and especially chronic problems. Therefore, the stronger the knowledge base of these partners, the greater the likelihood of successfully addressing medical difficulties.

The process of "modern medicine" intimately involves the accurate dispensation and reception of information.

How can patients come to some understanding of complex personal medical issues, medical technology, concerns related to medications and their side effects, and even preventive care? Clearly there is no simple universal method to deliver this information for providers of health care.

We at MedicineNet believe strongly that there is a certain need for improved patient satisfaction in the current medical climate. We also believe that a first step toward improvement in this area is to provide understandable information for patients. In that regard, we have assembled a team of specialist physicians who have as their challenge addressing the medical issues of our time while explaining conditions and treatment options in a manner capable of being received by the general public.

We at MedicineNet will continue to provide a channel for the flow of information regarding diseases, treatments, medications, medical technology, and new concepts in medicine for Internet viewers, their friends, and families. We are orchestrated by viewer questions and suggestions and are propelled by viewer satisfaction.

A well-known musician, Paul Simon, described the times in which we live as "...the days of lasers in the jungle...." It is our hope at MedicineNet that our viewers will be better empowered to face the evolving jungle of modern medicine.


Last Editorial Review: 8/14/1998