TeleHealth News


November 17, 2016




     This is World Antibiotic Awareness week. It is amazing that antibiotics are not even a hundred years old and yet we have developed, expanded and used them to such levels that many diseases are now resistant to them. Since my article on this subject last year, I have been following this matter with interest – as have many of our colleagues. As is evident by the two articles I have linked below, awareness is catching on. Fortunately many of us are heeding the warnings and are more cognizant of the way we practice. But it is not enough to educate ourselves to the proper use of these drugs. It becomes even more important to educate our patients and overcome their suspicion of our change in treating them. Particularly in established, older patients who for many years have been receiving antibiotics from us for even minor colds and flues. Especially since they can still get these drugs from some of our other colleagues, who are either too tired to fight these patients, too ignorant or just financially motivated. As practitioners, our judgments are our own. Unless some harm shows itself, no one really questions our rational. The problem here is that harm may show itself years later and no one will go back to see who was the culprit. Maybe we should be our colleagues keepers and educators. But that packs in its own set of ramifications and ethical questions.
     I was working in a resort town in Northern New Mexico a while back. Many of my patients and even residents of the town had a permanent address elsewhere. So, although I was their regular provider there, they considered their doctors back home as their primary care physician.
     One such patient was the wife of a local merchant. She brought her young baby to see me once. The baby had been running a low grade fever and pulling on her ears. The mother stated that the baby had another ear infection and that her doctor back home usually prescribed antibiotics. I examined the baby and found no evidence of any kind of infection. I told her so and suggested that we should treat her symptomatically. She became argumentative and said that her doctor back home always gives her an antibiotic. I tried to reason with her but she left disappointed.
     Our town pharmacy was next door and later that afternoon I saw her in there filling a prescription. Later I asked our pharmacist and was told that a prescription for antibiotics was called in from an out of town doctor for her baby.
     Today there is more awareness of these types of problems and technology provide us with tools that can be used to overcome some of these misunderstandings. Telehealth, telemedicine and tele-education make it possible to educate, examine and treat people in places near and far. Proper use of these tools can reduce or even eliminate many ambiguities and help us make accurate diagnosis, even when our patients are away. There really is no excuse for practices such as the one told above. [R. G.]


In the News:

  Click here for our news blog    
Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): Utilizing Health Information Technology to Scale and Spread Successful Practice Models Using Patient-Reported Outcomes (R18)

Election 2016: How health-related initiatives in several states fared
The DO

World Antibiotic Awareness Week - Nov. 14 - 20   

Campaign to Encourage Proper Antibiotic Use in NM  

Facilitating Physician Relicensure and 
Reentry into Clinical Practice in NM
Effective January 1, 2017
NM Medical Board & FSMB

How to Persuade the Public to Care About Other People's Problems   

New York Presbyterian taps American Well to subtly power their app-based virtual visits  

For more relevant news checkout our website.


Of Interest:

   Frederick Grant Banting was born on November 14, 1891, at Alliston, Ont., Canada. In 1916 he joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and served, during the First World War, in France. In 1918 he was wounded at the battle of Cambrai and in 1919 he was awarded the Military Cross for heroism under fire.
     In 1922 he was awarded his M.D. degree and become interested in diabetes and the work of Naunyn, Minkowski, Opie, Schafer, and others.
     Banting with the help of Dr. Charles Best, then a medical student, started the work that led to the discovery of insulin.

     In 1923, he received The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine .
     Banting was killed in an air disaster in Newfoundland in February 1941.



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