Medicine is a calling, not a job, says Denver Health Medical Center doc

Population health standards of care and quality metrics are of no help to patients or doctors, argues Abraham Nussbaum, M.D., a psychiatrist at Denver Health Medical Center, in a Q&A published by Kaiser Health News.

That's because quality metrics and checklists don't help doctors foster strong relationships with patients. 

Cautioning the healthcare industry from referring to health as "just another consumer good," Nussbaum, author of the book "The Finest Traditions of My Calling," says medicine is not just a job, reports the publication.

"When you remember that being with the ill is a calling, then you remember that it is a tremendous privilege to be a physician. People trust you with their secrets, their fears and their hopes," Nussbaum told the news service.

Admitting that quality improvement efforts aren't going away, he says the jury's still out on the evidence that they're effective. To support his assertion, Nussbaum points to a recent study published in The BMJ that found no evidence that quality metrics led to a marked reduction in patient mortality, according to KHN.

To learn more:
- read the article
- check out the study