A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… okay, so not so much, really. But when we look at the healthcare field, it can sure seem that way. People had a “family doctor” who might even make a house call when one of the kids wasn’t feeling well. Today there are many different specialists who take additional training and obtain certifications so that their patients will know that their knowledge base meets certain criteria. This is one of the advancements in patient experience.
This can be a fairly tricky field for medical professionals to navigate. They understand that their patient’s chronic pain is very real and needs to be treated. They also know that it can be very subjective, that there is rarely a way to measure the discomfort as a carpenter would measure with their ruler.
One of the biggest weapons in their arsenal to help the patient who comes to them is medicines like Percocet and morphine, opiates/opioids. However, there is a large black market for these pills because of the effect they have on brain chemistry.
The people manufacturing the illicit versions of them aren’t all that concerned about whether or not the person buying them overdoses or even dies, meaning the government has cracked down on even licensed doctors. A certification with the American Board of Pain Medicine lets a patient know that their provider has taken an additional step in learning how to treat their problem.
When it comes to infants and children with their growing and developing bodies, additional training for healthcare providers isn’t just a good idea; it can be a life-saving necessity. That’s a lot of knowledge to take in, which in turn means the certification tests can be quite extensive. This has produced companies that help doctors with a pediatric hospital medicine board review allowing them to, among other things, take practice exams.
This achieves two important goals. First and foremost, it allows physicians access to a broader range of training to give their young patients the best treatment available. Second, it permits them to give parents some peace of mind when they are choosing someone to oversee the health of their precious child.
Long after the need that a person has for a pediatrician, they come to the part of life where they need a doctor who understands their aging bodies. The average lifespan of a person in the United States has been slowly rising from just under 70 years in 1962, to almost 79 in 2019, although the COVID-19 pandemic may slide that back a little bit since more than 90% of the deaths attributed to the coronavirus were in those 50 years of age or older.
Those numbers are, of course, just a basic overview because factors like sex, race, and location can take those numbers up or down a bit. In general, however, it does mean that human beings are living longer, meaning that doctors who understand how to keep the aging human machine running are going to be more in demand as we move forward.
Sir Isaac Newton developed three laws of motion in the realm of physics, but one that can be applied to human beings is the idea that it object in motion tends to stay in motion, and one that is at rest will tend to stay in that state as well. Doctors who care for the elderly know that it works for their muscles and bones as well, which is why they recommend exercise plans for their patients. They don’t expect anyone to become Olympic athletes, but there are plenty of stories of people past their 80th birthday participating in marathons or triathlons. That’s just more evidence that the human body is running longer and more efficiently with every passing year.
One thing that all of us need for our medical care is for all those different specialists to be able to have access to all our records, including treatment plans and prescriptions. Fortunately, technology offers that ability like never before, including the ability of our personal devices to monitor and report our vital statistics in real time.