Episode 47: Why doesn’t my doctor know me? An examination of healthcare’s systemic failures featuring Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz

Ever experienced the frustration of feeling unheard, hastily ushered away, and checked off during your appointments? Or perhaps you've caught yourself making life-altering decisions hastily during your visits with your primary care provider? Join us in this episode as we unravel the systemic reasons behind these challenges and receive actionable tools to empower yourself, becoming an advocate for your health.

About our guest

Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz is a physician at Stanford University and a leading figure in cancer survivorship and oncology-hematology transitions. With an M.D. from Harvard and a B.S. from Yale, she co-directs Stanford's Primary Care for Cancer Survivorship program, offering innovative primary care for cancer survivors and those at elevated genetic risk.

Her medical journalism, featured in outlets like Scientific American and STAT News, includes an acclaimed investigative piece on fragmented medical records. Her latest book, "Fragmented: A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Health Care" delves deeper into medical challenges and was released in July 2023.

Check out “Fragmented” here.

Watch the video of our episode on YouTube

  • 3 minutes:

    “It takes between 14 and 62 clicks to order a Tylenol, something that is a simple over-the-counter medication. And again, that paper showed that the confusion in the electronic medical charts caused errors in up to 30% of cases.”

  • 27 minutes:

    “And why do doctors get such low amounts of time with patients? It's a payment model. It is still primarily in this country a fee for service payment model where doctors and healthcare organizations are reimbursed on a service. Now, what is a service? It can be a round of chemotherapy, a joint injection, or in primary care, a service is an office visit, that face-to-face, meaning nothing else counts as paid work. None of the time that you spend outside the room putting the pieces together of a patient's story counts as paid work.”

  • 41 minutes:

    “We need time to make decisions, which is separate from time to manage symptoms and side effects and deal with other things, other concerns, and preventative health… That is what I try to do within my own practice. But we are limited by so many external barriers, many of which we have talked about in this podcast, and a main one here is the time again. We are limited by 10 to 15 minute appointments… How can you make these life altering decisions within 10 to 15 minutes, much less address everything else?”

Disclaimer: This podcast blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast blog or materials linked from this podcast blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this podcast blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.