May 2019 Healthcare Forum

Take More Responsibility for Your Healthcare – Part II

Last month we discussed numerous reasons why Americans need to assume more control and responsibility for their healthcare. This month, Dr. Foster and I will continue this topic by discussing

  1. The Importance of Having a Personal Health Record – PHR for yourself and Family Members.
  2. Recognizing if Your Physician(s) Shows Signs of Burnout.
  1. Having your own PHR has become more important because:
  1. Communication between your healthcare providers is inconsistent; physicians are retiring at an earlier age; patient records may not be readily available and transferable.
  2. Having your own PHR can be lifesaving if you require emergency care in an E.D. where no one knows you. If you’ve stored your PHR on your cellphone or another electronic device that you keep on your person, also keep instructions in your wallet on how emergency staff can access your PHR – this can save your life!
  3. Details about how to construct your PHR can be found in Chapter 1 of our book, Insider’s Guide to Quality, Affordable Healthcare, to be launched and available from Amazon on May 28, 2019; then from bookstores throughout the U.S. supplied by distributors Ingram and Bookazine. A limited supply is available now at Op.Cit. Bookstore in Santa Fe and Taos, NM.

A unique feature of our book is that it will be continually updated on our website with “our take” on breaking healthcare news and our monthly healthcare forum. Important appendices from some chapters of our published book that were omitted but are an important, integral, part of our book will appear on the website. We suggest that you sign up for our no-cost healthcare website, for all this additional, valuable healthcare information when you purchase our new book on Amazon.

  1. Please note: Microsoft, which oversees the Internet site, for storing your PHR, is discontinuing that service November 20, 2019. If you currently are a registered user of this service, instructions about how to transfer your PHR to another service, such as, can be found at
  1. Is Your Doctor Showing Signs of Physician Burnout?
  1. Loss of enthusiasm for work; decline in satisfaction; emotional exhaustion. Doctors have 2x higher rates of depression/substance abuse and suicide than the general public.
  2. A 2016 study by the May Clinic found that 54% of the physicians surveyed reported at least one symptom of burnout.
  1. Why Physicians Are Burned Out
  1. Increasing work load; stressful work environment; excessive bureaucratic tasks required by insurance companies.
  2. The transition from paper to electronic charts that started over ten years ago and was encouraged and incentivized by the Affordable Care Act, has created a technological barrier between doctor and patient and between doctors (partly because different software systems don’t communicate with one another).
  1. How Physician Burnout is Affecting Patient Care
  1. Many doctors are leaving medicine mid-career, causing patients to start over with a different physician (discontinuity of care).
  2. Doctors are cutting back their hours, making it difficult for patients to obtain timely appointments.
  3. Demoralized doctors can suffer from impaired memory, attention, and depression, sometimes resulting in devastating mistakes with their patients.

Next month, we’ll discuss what you can do if you think your doctor(s) suffers from burnout and steps the medical profession is taking to remedy the problem.

We welcome your questions about this and any previous month’s medical forum. Please suggest to your friends, family, and colleagues that they sign up for our monthly healthcare forum and “our take” on breaking healthcare news – via

Best wishes,

Dr. Larry Lazarus
Dr. Jeff Foster

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