sindhuja-godavarthi

Sindhuja Godavarthi

Is a contributor to The Almost Doctor’s Channel.

Farmacies: A Nutrition-Based Intervention

Have you ever wondered about the irony of a pharmacy a couple aisles down from the fresh produce section in grocery stores? While patients could easily be picking up kale or other fresh produce to bring down their BP and blood glucose, they are instead picking up losartan and metformin. We can partly blame this on the fast-paced and capitalistic society we live in, where time and money are often a barrier to a nutritious lifestyle, especially for the underserved. It’s a problem that needs an immediate solution given that the US spends billions of dollars per  year on diet-related illness. According to the New York Times,  just type II diabetes is projected to cost the US $500 billion dollars in 2020 (Bittman “How to Save a Trillion Dollars”). Luckily, there are now innovative solutions to this age-old health paradox in society; how can those, especially the underserved, who have a chronic disease secondary to poor diet/lifestyle in the first place focus on buying healthy food while they now have to spend money on medications to get their health under control? Geisinger Health System recently launched “food pharmacies” (or a punnier name Farmacies)  in a hospital in Central Pennsylvania. According to NPR, “it looks more like a grocery, with neatly stocked shelves filled with healthy staples such as whole grain pasta and bean (Aubrey “Fresh Food By Prescription: This Health...

Prescription Alternative Treatment for Alcoholism

More doctors should think about prescribing Naltrexone to patients with alcohol abuse disorders.   There is no question that alcoholism disrupts the fabric of society–child abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, and suicide are only some of the things that come to mind. Rehabilitation is not easy; vast amounts of talent and human potential are wasted in overcoming alcohol abuse/addiction and medical bills add to the collective cost of alcoholism.   According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there is a 45% increase from 10 years ago roughly a million more people who are now alcoholics. This adds up to roughly 80 million Americans who have an alcohol abuse disorder according to federal data. What is really concerning however, is that doctors do not seem to be equipped in treating alcohol abuse disorders even with advances in medical treatment. According to the Washington Post, “Of the 985,375 practicing physicians in the United States, only about 1,200 are trained in addiction medicine, a scarcity of skills that poses a “formidable barrier” for patients, CASA concluded.” Source Medication is rarely prescribed by PCPs to patients with known alcohol abuse disorders. The exception is Antabuse, one of the earliest approved medications. Antabuse induces violent sickness by inhibiting the liver from breaking down acetaldehyde. Ironically, the severe sickness deters patients from taking Antabuse and as a result, approximately 80% of alcoholics...

Google Glass Helps Doctors Save Time

  Doctors working long hours and spending less and less time with patients is no new fact. Many doctors work 40-60 hour weeks, with many of them reporting less pay, less interaction with patients, and more time with administrative tasks and paperwork.  According to the New York Times, medical documentation can take up as much as a third of a physician’s workday. Physicians spend twice as much on medical documentation as two decades earlier. Further, this increased allocation towards administrative tasks contributes to doctors becoming jaded and becoming demoralized with their jobs. The following video accurately depicts doctors’ frustrations:   Not only is medical documentation demanding and time consuming, medical chart errors are common on these often rushed notes, which leaves doctors open to increasing patient liability suits. http://nurseslabs.com/26-funniest-charting-errors-found-on-actual-patients-medical-charts/   While many hospitals and doctors have hired medical scribes through companies like Scribe America and CEP America to overcome these hurdles, a lot of these companies focus on training and hiring specifically ER scribes who are very much in demand. Though these companies have slowly diversified to other departments, the waitlists to hire a scribe through these companies can vary from 3 months to a year.   Doctors who do not go through these companies can train and hire on their own but often do not have the resources to train on the medical terminology of their specialty or get...