New Marketplace I

What We’re Reading: Short Stories for Every Physician

Article · January 15, 2016

I’ve recently re-read some favorite short stories. If you read them, you won’t forget them. If I were again to direct a course for medical students, these would be required reading, though they are far from medical texts:

  • All of The Doctor Stories by the poet/pediatrician William Carlos Williams, especially “The Use of Force.” Have you ever been impatient with a patient? With a child?
  • Anton Chekhov’s short story “Ward 6” in the translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky. How quickly and unexpectedly can things change, and what is it like to be on the other side of a door? Like Williams, Chekhov — who died young of tuberculosis in 1904 — was a physician.
  • Tillie Olsen’s “Hey Sailor, What Ship?” in her book of short stories, Tell Me A Riddle. How often have you seen alcoholics treated as if they were barely human, and certainly not interesting? The tale of this marinero might help some medical students, house staff, and attending physicians look twice. In the same volume, don’t miss “I Stand Here Ironing,” for the many people we see whose opportunities are not like ours.

New Call for Submissions ­to NEJM Catalyst

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

More From New Marketplace I

Predicting the Future — Big Data, Machine Learning, and Clinical Medicine

By now, it’s almost old news: big data will transform medicine. It’s essential to remember, however, that data by themselves are useless.

Caring for Older Adults in a Value-Based Model

Using patient stratification and more primary care visits, Chicago-based Oak Street Health aims to reduce hospitalizations.

Caring for High-Need, High-Cost Patients

Five foundations committed to improving U.S. care for complex patients outline promising program models and keys to success.

How 30 Percent Became the “Tipping Point”

Received wisdom for meaningful change in health care payment and delivery system reform.

Two-Year Costs and Quality in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative

Midway through this four-year intervention, participating practices report progress in transforming the delivery of primary care. But savings and improvements in the quality of care or patient experience are lagging.

The Coming Battle over Shared Savings — Primary Care Physicians versus Specialists

The way physicians are organized and reimbursed in the United States is undergoing a once-in-a-generation transformation from a fee-for-service system to alternative payment models. PCPs are well positioned economically and strategically, but specialists must adapt.

How a Pediatric ACO Coordinates Care for Children with Disabilities

Ohio-based Partners for Kids is charting new territory in care coordination for a high-need population.

My Favorite Slide: Transitions in Health Insurance Coverage Type Are the Norm

Age and income play a role in both short- and long-term fluctuations.

Mixed Early Performance of Medicare Accountable Care Organizations

The earliest participants in MSSP contracts reduced Medicare spending, but the second cohort did not. Meanwhile, some quality measures improved among MSSP participants, while others were unchanged.

Why UnitedHealthcare’s Withdrawal Is Not the Main Concern for Exchanges

United’s announcement will affect some local markets, but the giant insurer has not been a major player in health insurance exchanges. And exchanges are only one part of the complex payment reforms under way.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

How to Have a High-Performing Employed…

It’s a generally accepted view that all hospital-employed physician groups are constitutionally incapable of operating…

Bundled Payments

36 Articles

Economic Investment and the Journey to…

Early evidence suggests that value-based payment and care delivery can transform our health care system,…

Value Based Care

127 Articles

Jumping into Value-Based Reimbursement with Two…

What payers would like to see when it comes to engagement in value-based reimbursement and…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now