Idealism and Motashari’s politics

Posted on July 6, 2011 I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

I just waded through a description of Dr. Farzad Motashari’s speech to providers recently at a session of the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit in Washington.  Dr. Mostashari, MD, ScM, is the national coordinator for health IT.  Although he appears to have a lot of degrees and certificates behind his name — most, it seems, in public health and epidemiology — it’s not clear how much actual time in a private practice office Dr. Motashari has spent, beyond his internal medicine residency.

Residencies are great at teaching you the ideal, textbook way medical practice is supposed to take place.  But, unfortunately, the real world of private practice doesn’t start educating you until you are out in the real world, with pressures and requirements that are not discussed or taught in medical school or residency.

More than a career in data crunching and writing research papers would give me confidence that Dr. Motashari really understands how many hoops –which he insists that meaningful use is not about — are actually entailed by MU and how much it has the potential to side track doctors’ abilities to self-direct patient care as they see fit.  It’s one thing to make eloquent public health speeches and have public health research as your personal goal in life .  It’s another to get practicing doctors to buy in up to the point that they are willing to change their own goals and work flows in providing excellent patient care in order to support someone else’s plans of collecting a ton of data for research use.

I wish someone could help me understand why I should be helping support an already way-overpriced program for researching what doctors already do all the time.  Do we have not trust in our nation’s doctors to do such basic healthcare as addressing blood pressure, obesity, and smoking cessation?  Somehow, I don’t buy that we need such a program at such a high price.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.