Principles of Authentic Medicine

This is an ongoing list of “rules” that define what authentic medicine is all about.  They are just some rough ideas.  I would love some feedback and additions that you may give.
  1. Be present on the job
  2. Quality is flexible,  subjective and sometimes indefinable
  3. Administrators should not be in charge of patient care
  4. Insurance companies should not determine plan of care
  5. Spend time with the patient
  6. Smile every day
  7. Know your patient
  8. Enjoy what you are doing
  9. Don’t make crap up
  10. Customer service is not everything but it is STILL important
  11. If you don’t take care of yourself than you can’t expect patients to take care of themselves
  12. Don’t let yourself be abused by a patient
  13. Don’t abuse patients
  14. Healthcare is a service and therefore a business.  Commit to improving it; not giving it away.
  15.  Find a way to have fun with your staff, partners or patients
  16. Make a profit but don’t gouge people
  17.  Don’t make a profit by churning through patients
  18. Actually listen to the patient and hopefully the patient will actually listen to the doctor
  19.  Local, local, local  – doctor should live  in and understand the community and the patients
  20. It is okay if the experience in the exam room is reverential or spiritual
  21. Making medicine civilized again
  22. Walk your talk – eat healthy, be thin, exercise
  23.  Don’t ever take yourself too seriously
  24. Pay attention to the details
  25. Don’t do this job because of the money or the security or your ego – you should actually want to help people
  26. Be true to yourself
  27.  Don’t cut corners
  28.  Do not lose touch with what happens in the trenches
  29. Remember, there is a delicate and difficult balance between the art and the science of medicine.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Principles of Authentic Medicine

  1. Charles Davant
    January 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Re-read “House of God” and take the laws to heart. Remember “The patient is the one with the disease…” “Gomers go to ground…” and “Age+BUN= lasix dose…” God, I love that book. I keep a couple of copies around and no med student spends a month with me without reading it. Black humor and as true today as 30 odd years ago.

  2. Griff
    December 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Medicine is a vocation, not an avocation. Have a life outside the office.

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