- Although awareness of the importance of physician well-being has increased in recent years, the research that defined this issue, identified the contributing factors, and provided evidence on effective individual and system-level solutions has been maturing for several decades. During this interval, the field has evolved through several phases, each influenced not only by an expanding research base but also by changes in the demographic characteristics of the physician workforce and the evolution of the health care delivery system.
- Outsourcing in health care has become increasingly common as health system administrators seek to enhance profitability and efficiency while maintaining clinical excellence. When clinical services are outsourced, however, the outsourcing organization relinquishes control over its most important service value: high-quality patient care. Farming out work to an external service provider can have many unintended results, including inconsistencies in standards of care; harmful medical errors; declines in patient and employee satisfaction; and damage to clinicians’ morale and income, and to the health organization’s culture, reputation, and long-term financial performance.
- In 2018, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research published a systematic evidence-based review and an associated practice guideline for improved assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients with disorders of consciousness. Patients with disorders of consciousness include individuals in the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as others with covert consciousness and cognitive motor dissociation.
- On May 1, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow use of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat patients with severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Remdesivir is an investigational drug studied in clinical trials for COVID-19 and is available to children and pregnant women through compassionate-use access but is not yet FDA approved. In early May, the US Department of Health and Human Services began to distribute remdesivir, donated by Gilead Sciences, Inc., to hospitals and state health departments for emergency use; multiple shipments have since been distributed.
- In November 2018, the announcement that genetically edited human embryos had been used for reproductive purposes caused international uproar; many observers argued that editing the human germline was unethical, particularly given the early stage of the science and the absence of appropriate oversight. We provide an overview of the implications of these events, focusing on the relevant ethical considerations for physicians addressing patient questions and concerns. The editing of the human germline for reproductive purposes should be understood against an historic backdrop of clinical research in assisted reproduction, as well as other exemplars of translational investigation.
- The past decade has been a time of great change for US physicians. Many physicians feel that the care delivery system has become a barrier to providing high-quality care rather than facilitating it. Although physician distress and some of the contributing factors are now widely recognized, much of the distress physicians are experiencing is related to insidious issues affecting the cultures of our profession, our health care organizations, and the health care delivery system. Culture refers to the shared and fundamental beliefs of a group that are so widely accepted that they are implicit and often no longer recognized.