Hippocrates' Modern Colleagues

From 1993 to 2001, I wrote a monthly column in Sacramento Medicine that was titled Hippocrates and His Kin (HHK). This was a running monthly commentary for the profession and other interested readers on a variety of subjects that impacted the practice of medicine. It greatly increased the readership of the journal and created a dynamic dialogue as it sparked considerable interest. When I began posting this column, I received email from several states and foreign countries. Since Sacramento Medicine was initially published 11 times per year, later reduced to six times per year, there were a total of 78 columns published during those eight years. These can be reviewed at my online journal, HealthCareCommunication.Network, where several of my colleagues have also posted articles: HealthCareCom.net.

Hippocrates is considered by many to be the Father of Medicine and the most recognized of the early men of medicine. Although Aristotle, Galen, Harvey and others may have come further in physiology, such as realizing separate cardiovascular and respiratory systems, I felt that we, his 20th Century KIN, were having different and unique struggles in the 1990s, which provoked me to write about Hippocrates' Kin in HHK. The struggles that our profession is having in caring for the sick and dying are continuing, yet changing. Hence, I am hopeful at continuing a monthly dialogue and commentary in this electronic journal, about the problems placed in our path during the twenty-first century. We have given this column a slightly new name: Hippocrates' Modern Colleagues (HMC). We will also include some important articles from previous years that relate to physician struggles today.

I have established a separate mailbox for your feedback and comments. Please send them to delmeyer@delmeyer.net. My responses will appear in the journal as I develop this column. I hope you will enjoy reading my perspective on the condition of the practice of medicine, as well as those views gleaned from my colleagues. We will comment on the professional relationship between physicians, patients, insurance carriers and government, as well as anything that impinges on the practice of medicine.

If we fail to salvage the physician/patient relationship, we may find that the primary relationship will be between physicians and the government, wherein the patients are the political football. This is not too different from what we are already experiencing in the US with our For-Profit HMOs, where doctors are forced to develop ties with the HMO that pays them, rather than with the patient. We hope you will visit this professional journal on a weekly or regular basis, and this column monthly.