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A hazard of impatient medicine

The Atlantic, September 4, 2013
There is growing concern that physicians are spending less time with patients. One study at Johns Hopkins earlier this year documented that physicians in training are now spending about eight minutes per day with each of their hospitalized patients. The reasons are complex: Things that used to be done by doctors, such as drawing blood, are now done by non-physicians; restrictions on duty hours limit the amount of time trainees can spend in the hospital; and managing the electronic health record now consumes a great deal more physician time. While the reductions in time for patient contact have been apparent for many years, some of their consequences are still just emerging.