Interdisciplinary Medicine

Hey all, I wanted to share an insight into why getting medical care can be so hard, from the perspective of one of the people trying to get you care.

See, the medical field is a mess. Seriously, just a mess. Medical science has improved massively and exponentially over the past century, but a lot of the systems of dispensing medicine and the administration overseeing it have not changed, sometimes at all. If that sounds like a dumb idea, that’s because it is.

Medical care in the early 20th century used to require precisely 2 people, the nurse providing the majority of care, and the doctor overseeing that nurse. Medical care now average 15 people per patient between doctors, nurses, physical therapy, pharmacists, and so many more people. As medical care splintered off into increasingly specialized silos of skills and knowledge, the system adjusted a little bit, but largely all these groups don’t have adequate methods or time for communication. This means people waste a lot of time repeating information, repeating exams on patients, sometimes even duplicating testing that was already done. On top of that, there is significant time wasted between providers who function in different locations and have to send each other messages that often take days to arrive and more days to be returned.

Overall, delays in healthcare come from a number of places, but the underlying issue that exacerbates the rest is this disorganization that keeps people wasting time just trying to talk to each other. As a future physician, I want to believe this won’t be an issue for my entire career, but it is hard to imagine how we could transition to a system that fixes these fundamental flaws.

Let’s all just cross our fingers that something will allow us to create a system designed for the era we actually live in, that hopefully can handle the changes the future will surely bring.