Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolutions/Wishes

Happy New Year to everyone!! Now that the holidays are over and school is back in session, my life is returning to it's usual busy wintertime schedule. It's also the time of year when people discuss their resolutions for the new year, and I see a lot more people walking on the track after work! I've often been tempted to ask if they are there to lose weight in the new year, but instead I just see how many days they seems that two weeks is about the maximum. All this aside, it's also a special January this year, as we will be inaugurating a new president in a few short weeks. I hope things will start to change quickly.

In light of the potential for change, I have come up with a list of my top 10 wishes for our health care system which I am hoping will be targeted for change early in this new administration. I know that some of these wishes are not free, and I don't know where the money will necessarily come from, but a wish is just that, a wish! I could also go on with many more wishes, but I think ten is a good start.

1. Renew and increase funding for SCHIP. Perhaps with more Democrats and more progressive Republicans in Congress, this will happen.

2. Increase reimbursement for pediatricians giving vaccines.

3. When considering universal health care, examine what other countries have done and perhaps create a system which combines the best from the different approaches being used world-wide. Having waited this long to do what most other first-world countries have already done, we might as well turn this to our advantage and learn from the mistakes of others.

4. We, as physicians, need to practice medicine responsibly. We need to accept that we are contributing to the skyrocketing costs of medical care in the US, and we need to do something about it.

5. Continue to encourage medical students to go into primary care with increased emphasis on programs that already exist, such as the National Health Service Corps. As costs for higher education continue to escalate and funding for student loans is cut, informing pre-med college students about the availability of scholarship programs may be more effective than in the past.

6. Continue to study pharmaceuticals specifically in the pediatric population.

7. Continue to promote the safety of vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatrics is working diligently on this effort.

8. Strive to continue research efforts with stem cells.

9. Provide adequate reimbursement for obesity counseling, nutrition education.

10. Let's get daily physical education back in schools!!


Gregory said...

These are really original, personally i want to lose weight... i just bought a book and am trying it out. its the number 1 rated HEALTHY diet

Joel Sherman said...

I like your wish list, but it's a little too centered on pediatrics.
I'd like to see the start of a single payer national health system which could eventually cover everyone for all basic care. I wouldn't object if people who were happy with their present coverage were able to keep it. I also wouldn't mind if the coverage was limited to begin with and people needed supplemental coverage. But we need to start developing a rational system which our profit motivated everyone for himself private system will never be.