Any day now a new issue of the medical journal Pediatrics
is going to arrive, and itwill be chock full of articles related to my specialty. I recently received my monthly copy of Journal of Pediatrics,
another journal loaded with information relevant to me. Every three months I receive an issue of Clinics in Perinatology
, containing a few hundred pages of usually neonatal information. The latest edition of the Neonatal Resuscitation Textbook just arrived - I'd better be up on that. And every week a new issue of the New England Journal of Medicine
shows up in my mail slot. It doesn't have a lot of neonatal stuff, but plenty of other interesting medical information I'd like to know.
I like to keep up with what's new in neonatology and to some extent with medicine in general, but it can be really hard to do. The volume of information out there and available to read is astounding. I have to pick and choose the things most relevant; there is no way I can read everything related to neonatology. I find myself hoping that the new issue of Pediatrics
or Journal of Pediatrics
won't have many neonatal articles, just so there will be less to read that month.
And I'm in a sub
specialty. People in broader fields, such as general pediatrics or internal medicine, have an even tougher time. A general pediatrician has to keep up with topics as varied as infant meningitis, school problems, and birth control. Then there's the family practitioner. Keeping up with everything
in medicine seems just impossible.
In fact - and I'll probably take some criticism for this - I'm not sure that family practice as a specialty should continue to exist. Medicine is complicated, and it will only get more complicated. There's a huge explosion of information, and it's pretty important that a doctor knows the right information. I simply don't think one person, a family practitioner, can keep up with it well enough.
Instead of family practitioners, I think there should be family clinics. The kids could see a pediatrician there, the adults an internist or obstetrician, and so on. No offense to my family practice colleagues, but I think a pediatrician does a better job taking care of kids than they do, and the same is probably true for an internist regarding adults.
This could be a big topic, but I'd better stop here. Besides, I should probably be reading a journal instead of blogging....