Posts by Jordan Messler

Vegas Awaits: Hospital Medicine 2017

I’m packing up for Vegas. I always look forward to the yearly conference. And back in Vegas, expectations are high. However, we all know there will be one or two distractions from the conference schedule. Here are few takeaways I hope to obtain from both the conference and Vegas. Building Community The Power of Networking Placing the Right Bets The Importance of Arts AYCE Benefits Building Community While I’m in Vegas, I may wander north of the strip and head for Container Park and the Downtown Project. The Zappos CEO poured $350 million of his wealth into this downtown Las Vegas project, with the goal of rapidly building a community from scratch as start-up city. Health can be impacted by the design of a city, and many cities are taking that cue. The Downtown Project wanted to create a walkable city and a new tech industry while experimenting with city building at the private level.…

Fake News! Get Your Fake News Here!

One of the top stories of 2016 is fake news. Chances are, in 2017, we will continue to fall for these fairy tales. When people think Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are two completely different entities, we know facts can dissipate quickly. Why are we duped so easily? These stories fit into a narrative we want to believe in, reinforcing our often insular views, where the echo chamber reverberates at high frequency. We digest only headlines and forward those along, not having time to fully read the stories. Lack of faith in the "media" causes us to trust any headline from any source over the mainstream media. Facebook is recognizing the large role it plays in dissemination of fake stories to the extent that it plans to roll out a new filter in Germany to begin to fight this epidemic. Here's how you and others can combat fake news…

BREAKING NEWS: “Physicians Deemed Unnecessary”; “Social Worker Promoted to Hospital CEO”

“Physicians deemed unnecessary, ½ of all hospitals expect to be using artificial intelligence technology by 2020. Medical schools begin to shutter.” (See New England Journey of Medicine 2016.) “Social worker of inner city hospital found to be the most cost effective position in the system, promoted to CEO.” “Patients HCAHPS surveys determined to be filled out by their pets 90% of the time. Industry chief states this improves surveys have never been more accurate and recommends tying 100% of salary to Rover’s results.” (See webofliesmd.com for those last two.) So ran some Facebook headlines from my Macedonia buddy. Makes me long for the days of getting duped by The Onion. Fake news, as opposed to satirical news, is the latest virus infecting the web. They travel online faster than Usain Bolt. We are passed the era of truthiness and into the realm of post-truth. With newspaper subscription rates declining faster than ever, the search for real news gets harder and harder. Truth…

A Letter to My Patients

To my next patient: I often avoid putting my politics on my sleeve, as I don’t want that to get in the way of our relationship. I want you to know that I treat you as a fellow human being, no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation. With the election results, what will change about how I treat you at the bedside? Nothing. I may know about your criminal past. I see that tattoo underneath your gown. I hear your profanity-filled screed because you won’t get that MRI today. I know you don’t follow the treatment plan, that you are here illegally or that you are a refugee from another country. I will still care for you no matter what. It’s one of the blessed things we instill in each other in medicine. I saw someone like you recently: 28 years old, working hard, with 2 jobs, but neither provided…

The Head and the Heart

One of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, released Signs of Light last month. A more pop album than their prior folk rock versions, it’s still a good listen. The group states the origin of the name comes from a recognition that doing what you love – in this case, music – creates unintended sacrifices in the rest of life, such as relationships and friendships. Life is filled with these balances. The world today seems to be polarizing on notions of ideas that feel right versus ideas that are thoughtful. In reality, it’s some combination of both – to sell ideas, they require simple messaging with depth of thought. That same philosophy applies in life, and of course, in the hospital as well. Hospital comes from hospes, the Latin word for stranger, host or guest. Hence, the origin of similar words such as hostel, hospice, hotel and hospitality. A patient is…
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