Thursday, March 28, 2013

A peek behind the stethoscope with Mike Sevilla and Jordan Grumet

I had a lot of driving to do last weekend, and it gave me an opportunity to catch up on a few podcasts (still, by the way, one of my favoriate ways to consume media).  One of my new favorites is Dr. Mike Sevilla's "Family Medicine Rocks" podcast. There are a few reasons that I've enjoyed listening to the show.

First, Mike is one of those docs who's at the "nuclear core" of the Family Medicine Revolution (#FMRevolution - see my #MDigitalLife post on another revolutionary, Jay W. Lee, for background). These family docs have used the internet as a way to reshape the way that we think about family medicine - and more broadly, to reinforce the role of primary care in our health system. Second, Mike has great guests ... I've loved hearing from people like Natasha Burgert, Ben Miller, Jennifer Dyer and many more.  These are people I've been reading (and reading about) for a long time, but to get to hear them on the air is really cool. Lastly, because Mike is entertaining as hell. He runs the podcast like a late-night talk show, and it is a lot of fun to listen to.

But the thing that pushed me over the edge in terms of writing about the show was the last episode I listened to - the episode in which Mike interviewed Jordan Grumet - an internal medicine doc in northern Illinois.  Jordan is incredibly passionate about being a doctor - particularly about being a primary care doctor.  In fact, he's so passionate about it that he wrote a book of short stories and poems called Primary Care. [I keep a copy proudly on my desk] ANYWAY, the conversation that Mike and Jordan had in this podcast provided what was perhaps the best overview of what it's like to be a doctor in today's changing health system of any that I've heard.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but it's fair to note that Jordan has elected recently to leave his traditional medical practice and to do something different.  My favorite segment from the show is Jordan describing his relationship with the current healthcare system (primarily those responsible for paying for  the care he provides:

I value who I am and I value what I bring to this world. You've decided that what I am is not valuable to you.  That's your decision, but then I have the option of not giving you those services [that you don't value]. So I'm stepping out of the relationship.
I could go to Washington and try to become a lobbyist or work for the AMA, and try work to change the system, but that's not really me ... I can only change what I do ... so I'll step out of the system and do what I believe is right, and it'll be my own little statement about what's happening to healthcare.
I won't agree to it. I won't sign on the dotted line. And maybe [in so doing] I'll have some small effect on the world around me.

If you're interested in hearing the perspectives of a couple of people who combine a passion for health and medicine combined with an almost unbelievable ability to articulate their stories, please do give this a listen ... and think seriously about supporting our primary care docs.

You can keep up with Dr. Sevilla on his blog, "Family Medicine Rocks" as well as on his twitter account, @DrMikeSevilla.  And you can keep up with Dr. Grumet on his blog, "In My Humble Opinion" and on his twitter account, @JordanGrumet.

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