By Mark Salamon, December 1, 2018
Doctors take a lot of crap for everything. They make you wait months for an appointment, you get mad. They make you wait hours in the waiting room, you get mad. They spend thirty seconds in the room with you, you get mad. They cancel your appointment so they can go to a conference, you get mad.
Well enough is enough, because a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has given them some much needed validation on at least one of these counts by showing that doctors going away to medical conferences are actually saving lives.
That’s right, Harvard University researchers showed that patients having a heart attack are more likely to survive if their cardiologist is away at a conference. (1) This is valuable information for the average person who, due to social media, is much more educated and prepared for medical emergencies. People nowadays are learning CPR, noting where the AED devices are placed in malls, and writing down which hospitals have the best TV commercials for various conditions. Now they can use this new information to further increase their chance of survival by planning their heart attack for when their doctor is out of town.
Several theories have been put forth to explain the findings. One possibility is that “They believe that specialists who attend the meetings are more prone to using intensive interventions for their patients which may do more harm than good, rather than taking a more holistic approach.” (2) At any rate, further research is needed to determine if playing golf is also an effective strategy for saving lives.