By Octavio Vega, MD
At the beginning of any new year, we often have the inner motivation to make new year’s resolutions. This is frequently the time when people decide to make positive changes in their health and overall well-being.
However, sometimes we set ourselves up to bite off more than we can chew and, unfortunately, end up abandoning the resolutions altogether. Instead of focusing on large goals that may be difficult to attain, make smaller changes that will enable you to achieve sustainable results.
Here are some suggestions for small goals that will equal big changes in your health (and could also positively affect other facets of your life):
By Michael Hanak, MD
As a primary care physician working at a renowned institution, it is tempting to perceive myself as a “good doctor.” I greet patients with a smile, I strive to provide treatments that are in line with the latest medical advances, and I do my best to explain medical problems in a way that is easy to understand.
But when a family member asked me what to look for in a great doctor, I found myself suddenly at a loss for words. With so many well-meaning physicians (after all, helping people is why we went into medicine in the first place), what are the things that make a physician extraordinary?
As I began thinking about this, I quickly jumped to the conclusion so many doctors jump to when they hear the words “patient satisfaction.” Sometimes we as doctors are put in situations where a patient asks for a treatment that we know is not effective. Do we say yes and risk the patient’s health? Or say no and upset the patient?
Those physicians with the highest ratings must be saying “yes” all the time! But this can’t be right either. Thinking back to my residency training, there were plenty of mentors who were such effective communicators that patients left empowered and educated, rather than with a handful of prescriptions, and still felt they had the best doctor in the world.
By Scott Foley
The company I work for has been producing the 30– to 60-second videos that accompany each doctor’s profile on Rush’s Find-a-Doctor online physician directory. The goal of these videos is to give prospective patients a better sense of each doctor’s areas of expertise and approach to patient care in order to help them find a doctor who meets their needs.
As the camera operator on the Find-a-Doctor profile video shoots, I’m responsible for lighting the scene, selecting and framing the shot, and monitoring the audio. Essentially, I make sure that everything looks and sounds great while someone else — a producer — focuses on the content of the interviews. Initially, I approached this project like any other — from a largely technical point of view. But from the first shoot day on, it’s been hard to ignore what the doctors are saying in their interviews, especially when they talk about their commitment to medicine and their passion for patient care.
Primary care physician Steven Rothschild, MD, is one of more than 200 doctors at Rush University Medical Center whose videos are posted online.
By Cari Kornblit
Back when I was a newcomer to Chicago, I needed to find a new primary care doctor as I was overdue for a check-up. So I asked the few people I knew for recommendations. But what if I could have watched short videos of the doctors I was choosing between to get an idea of each doctor’s personality and philosophy of care, and then made a more informed decision? I’m now involved in a project that gives people that option.
Rush already has an online tool, Find-a-Doctor, where you can search for a doctor in a range of ways — like by location, specialty, even by a specific disease or symptom. Since January, we’ve been interviewing doctors to create brief videos to add to their Find-a-Doctor profiles. Now you can watch a brief snippet featuring the doctor and get a better sense of what that person is really like. Why did they get into medicine? How did they choose their specialty? What motivates them to keep practicing? What informs their approach to treating patients?