Monday, May 11, 2009

Medicine Sub-Internship

Currently a sub-I at SFGH, please don't get sick in the next month or you might see me.

Recently registered for step 2 USMLE.
Warning: CS costs $1,055 alone to register and CK costs $495. That doesn't include the mandatory travel to LA or lodging.

Recently bought an i-pod touch to enjoy first apple product. Got absorbed in installing apps and was reading through Yelp, found out that there are many patient reviews of UCSF Medical Center. It's so interesting read those reviews, which are either 1 star or 5 star (max)...which makes sense since you only make the effort to type something if you are extremely satisfied or ridiculously angry.

Some observations of Yelp feedback: Interestingly, the polarized reviews had many themes in common. The 1-star patients usually are in general good health with minimal contact with healthcare, coming in with a musculoskeletal complaint (eg xray for foot/hand, sprain or acute flu with SOB) to Urgent Care (oohh, lots of ire). The main complaint is waiting time (up to 8 hrs) in the ED, brusque staff, lack of parking, billing, hospital food, etc. There were very few complaints about doctors' care (except for one woman who was turned away by an ED physician for SOB), and no complaints about residents or trainees (except one patient cited the lack of continuity with residents in clinic).

Patients who write 5-star reviews generally have serious/chronic/rare ongoing medical conditions. Some families will write on behalf of patients. One reviewer wrote on behalf of a friend who had heart surgery, another patient was grateful for the teaching program regarding kidney transplants, etc. One patient noted that the lab reports for rare diseases will be processed faster at UCSF than at other hospitals. Some patients who had life-threatening conditions praised the ED.

Reading that uncensored feedback might be a good exercise for our hospital administration to see what can be improved. We can score big points with patients if we make the logistics of getting healtcare more convenient -- making appointments online and keeping clinic wait times within 1-2 hrs (or the pizza is free!).

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