Reinventing the Physician: The 2,000-Year-Old Story of Doctors and Patients

My role as physician is changing. Fortunately, we doctors have been through this many times, and you patients have always led us in the right direction. In this TEDx Penn Quarter video I’ll tell you the story of doctors and patients. I’ll show you where we’re going and where we’ve been. It might surprise you.

I’ve been on a whirlwind tour these last few weeks. I’d like to thank my brilliant and beautiful wife (and PR agent) @FoodBlogga, my colleagues and staff at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, Chris Mahoney (@cpmahoney) and Cynergy Solutions (who graciously invited me to speak) and two inspiring physicians with whom I spent some time recently, Dr. Joe Kvedar (@jkvedar) and Dr. Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande).

So tell me, do you see your doctor reinventing himself or herself yet? Why or why not?

4 thoughts on “Reinventing the Physician: The 2,000-Year-Old Story of Doctors and Patients”

  1. Davis Liu, MD says:


  2. That what fantastic! I loved the history lesson and the Latin. I also love your point that we doctors are in a reinvention transition. Transitions can be uncomfortable. During the last 20 years it has certainly been a tumultuous time in medicine; HMO’s, health care crisis, underfunding of health care, the looming financial crisis when we baby boomers hit medicare and now the electronic health records conversion of our cottage industry. It’s been quite an adventure for docs, and most of us signed up for it with Marcus Welby our minds. I haven’t regretted it and would do it again, but it hasn’t been easy.

    Your prediction on where we’re going is fascinating. I’ve embraced what you consider as medicines modern reinvention and I’m loving the creativity! I’ve got years of ‘tools in my black bag’ from years of practicing dermatology. Writing and teaching web readers about skin health, skin problems and skin problem solutions has assumed a big creative space in my life. The tech learning curve is exciting and building a web site that’s a helpful resource for people is satisfying. Funny that I just posted on this project of mine:

    You made great points that bring this all home for me and all of us, readers, doctors, patients and all. Well done!

  3. Thanks for the post! Fascinating!

  4. anonymous says:

    As a non-doctor I found your perspective fascinating. I’ve always felt that all doctors should have to spend 3 days in the hospital, being at the mercy of nurses and doctors who treat him/her just like any other patient, before being allowed to take the oath. Bedside manner these days is far under rated. Many physicians are in such a rush to get to the next patient that their current patient’s comments falls on deaf ears. In other words, doctors need to practice “Patience with their patients”.

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