Category: Physician Stakeholders

The Osteopathic Oath

Check this out. What you will see is a riff by an osteopathic PCP on the difference between the osteopathic oath that she took and the Hippocratic oath taken by allopathic physicians. Got me to thinking. In the early days of my involvement with studying the psychology of physicians, I thought about Osteopaths as oddballs. Sort of a cross between an MD and a Chiropractor. As this doctor indicates in the “elevator speech” that begins her post, the 200 hours of training that DO’s receive in “manipulation” sort of threw me off in that direction. BUT. Over the years, I have seen the distinction between MD’s and DO’s break down. I started to see DO’s popping up in various medical specialties, like surgery, that are about as far from Chiropractic as you could possibly get.

BUT. When you look at this doctor’s elevator speech, compare the two oaths and look at the big picture, there are still differences. Osteopathy seems some how more holistic. More community oriented. More prone to believe in the human body’s ability to heal itself with some help, rather than to see the human body as an organism to be treated by an all-powerful physician.

A humorous aside. Decades ago, I was out in the field conducting depth interviews in support of one of my client’s upcoming launches of an NSAID. I had 10 members of the product team with me in Chicago that day, and we all showed up at the one-way mirror research facility at 7AM for the first interview. In came the first doctor, who was listed on the schedule as an Orthopedist. As the doctor began his introductory comments, he announced that he was in fact an Osteopath specializing in urology. Whoops.  End of interview. My clients and I were royally ticked, especially at that hour of the morning. When I approached the manager of the facility to discuss the faux pas, her response was a classic. “Orthopedist, Osteopath, same difference.” Wow!

Bottom Line. All kidding aside, I am wondering what pharmaceutical companies know about the Osteopath in 2018, and how she differs from the allopathic physician. I’m thinking a little Mindset Marketing ResearchSM might be called for here!

Ah, Maria Yang

We have forwarded you to her posts before. Here we go again. Maria has an uncanny ability to share with us the nuts and bolts of being an Inpatient Psychiatrist. In this post, she recounts one of many apparently interchangeable crazy nights when she had to deal simultaneously with a BIG MAN who believed that the only way to get attention is to make a lot of noise and to create a lot of trouble, and a PATIENT who somewhere along the line had learned to be very, well, patient.

Bottom Line. I have a question. As you listen to the BANG BANG BANG being tattooed out by the hands of the BIG MAN, ponder for a moment how physicians don’t go crazy themselves practicing in this kind of environment.

How indeed! 

The Risks That Come With Assembly Line Medicine

Check this out. Very reasonably, this blog questions whether medical practices should operate at the same speed as delicatessens do, grinding out patients/sandwiches as quickly as possible. In fact, she specifically identifies 5 risks of assembly line medicine. Things like treating only the presenting problem rather than having the opportunity to examine the whole patient, insufficient time for patients to develop relationships and trust, and yes, the physician burnout that comes with having to see too many patients too quickly.

Bottom Line. This blogging physician points out that unlike physician employees, doctors in private practices like hers can call their own cadence. BUT. Since reimbursement levels are remaining the same over time, she pays a price for having this latitude. 

Worth the price? Individual doctors clearly have to decide for themselves. 


Check this out. What you will see is an insightful discussion of the five most prominent fears that bedevil doctors. They include:

  1. Peniaphobia: The fear of being poor.
  2. Metathesiophobia: The fear of change.
  3. Politicophobia: The fear of politics.
  4. Hypengyophobia: The fear of being blamed.
  5. Atychiphobia: The fear of failure.

Think about this list for a moment. What do all of these fears have in common? Simple. In one way or another, each of these fears reflects a physician’s concern about uncertainty. Little wonder that in 2018 doctors would fear uncertainty. Look at the things that are going on around them. Fundamental changes in their compensation system, from volume to value, being a classic example.

Look way out on the cutting edge and think about the joint venture into healthcare involving Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway. What impact will this alliance have on the average doctor’s practice?

Bottom Line. As we lay claim to being “customer centric,” it is important for us to come to grips with the fact that our physician customers are afraid. Afraid of the uncertainty that currently surrounds them in their daily lives, and what else might be coming their way. 

And well they should be. How can we help to assuage these concerns?

The Disruptive Physician

Check this out. You will suddenly find yourself immersed in a site dedicated to making sure that doctors in training don’t have to put up with disruptive behavior on the part of their mentors. Lest you be wondering what kinds of behaviors those might include, this page contains a helpful checklist of both “aggressive” behaviors and “passive-aggressive” behaviors.

As I have said before, I am not a big believer in “awareness” initiatives in most cases, but here is a clear case where “awareness, transparency and advocacy” can make a real difference. Knowing who and where the abusive doctors are, and getting them called out, seems like a really good idea.

Bottom Line. Good grief! Isn’t physician training tough enough without throwing in a mentor who happens to be a jerk???

Helping Doctors To Balance Their Lives

Check this out. What you will see is a site, hosted by a female physician, dedicated to helping other lady doc’s to strike a suitable balance between their professional and personal lives. This is but one of numerous sites that I have seen popping up in 2018, aimed at providing direction for doctors in areas including planningtheir professional careers, developing financial independence, etc. Just roam around to get a feel for this site. BUT. You may want to pay special attention to this page, which offers Dr. Wellington’s advice, on a fee-for-service basis, to individual clients.

I have a question. What makes Dr. Wellington especially qualified to guide other doctors in these areas? I am in no way suggesting she isn’t qualified to do so. Just wondering???

Bottom Line. I guess my more general point is this. With all of the different sites springing up offering life-guidance to physicians, how is a doctor to know which sites to trust and which to avoid like the plague? I am guessing that social media will help physicians to separate the wheat from the chaff here. 

Stay tuned!

Is It Doctor, Or Is It “Julia?” What’s In A Name???

Check this out. What you will see is an article that at first glance seems to be sort of vapid. Female physicians tend to be introduced by their first name, while male physicians are introduced as “Doctor ……”  So what???

Actually, SO lots of stuff! The author of this article points out that this seemingly minor discourtesy carries with it a lot of baggage. Like. The insinuation that perhaps female physicians are less dedicated to the profession than are their male counterparts. AND. The realization that female physicians have a more difficult time climbing the academic position ladder. AND. The awareness that female physicians suffer significantly from pay disparity. AND. AND. AND….!

Bottom Line. The message here is clear. The “fix” called for by this article is not just to change the way female physicians are introduced. NOPE! Something far more fundamental needs to be repaired if female physicians, a large and growing percentage of the physician population, are going to get the respect they deserve.

Doctors Do Podcasts

I don’t want you to spend a lot of time on this. Just give “DOCS OUTSIDE THE BOX” a quick scan and listen.

Why?  Here is a doctor helping “ordinary doctors to do extraordinary things.” A lot of the focus here, as we have seen in other physician blogs, is on helping doctors to avoid putting all of their eggs in the basket of clinical practice. As we have discussed before, this “side gig,” “passive income,” etc. movement seems to be growing in scope.

This is both interesting and important to watch. Why? Several reasons. First, I’m guessing that doctors picking up on these other opportunities might well be using them to avoid burnout. That’s a good thing. BUT. Time is a zero-sum game. The time that doctors invest in these side gigs is time that they can no longer invest in learning about our products.

Bottom Line. What will be the net result of all of this for us? Simple. We should expect doctors to increasingly rely on habits, heuristics and other approaches to time saving in their practices. We will need to adjust our promotion and other communications to them accordingly.

Has Medicine Moved From Being Patient-Centered To Being Profit-Centered?

At least one blogging physicians thinks that it has. Check this out. This post sort of goes on forever, but its message is actually a simple one. For medicine, as she so cleverly puts it, “The bottom line is the bottom line.”

Worse, she reports that physicians who have the temerity to advocate for patients are being silenced via a number of very effective mechanisms. And one is left to wonder if one physician faces such censure, how many other doctors are silenced in the process? And by definition, the public never gets to see this stifling process.

Bottom Line. How much of this is going on? Like I said, these repressive processes, by definition, typically do not make their way into the public eye. BUT. I am guessing that with medicine being so tightly managed for profit, and with MBA’s telling MD’s what to do, this kind of behavior is probably fairly rampant. 

Is there anybody out there that does not understand the impact that all of this has on physicians’ use of our products and interactions with our companies? 

It’s Not Just Doctors And It’s Not Just Burnout!!!

Check this out. What you will see is a piece that starts off by reporting a death by suicide. Not of a doctor. Of a nurse. Not because of burnout. Because of bullying.

But this is not just about one case. The article also notes that nurses are 23% more likely to commit suicide than are non-nurse females. AND. Both doctors and nurses are, not surprisingly, “better” at taking a suicide to completion than are members of the lay public.

The plot thickens. A survey of 1,700 healthcare employees questioned them as to whether, if they saw an act of bullying in the workplace, they would they report it. Here’s the kicker. 10%, yes a measly 10%, said they would. Yup. 90% said they would stay silent. Various reasons for silence were offered, most of which boiled down to fear of reprisal.

Bottom Line. SO. Like the title above announces, it is not just doctors that have problems in the healthcare workplace. And bullying needs to be added to burnout as a cause of these problems. 

Think any of this might have an impact on HCP Mindset? On how doctors, nurses, etc.  treat their patients? On how willing, or even able,  they are to pay attention to our promotional messages?

I’m going with YES on all of the above!

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments after reading this post? If so, stop by and leave a comment on the blog!