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Out of PracticeFighting for Primary Care Medicine in America$
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Frederick M. MD Barken

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449765

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449765.001.0001

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“Tell Him Not to Drive”

“Tell Him Not to Drive”

(p.29) 2 “Tell Him Not to Drive”
Out of Practice

Frederick M. Barken

Cornell University Press

This chapter reflects on various issues surrounding medical care of the elderly. It first shares his views regarding an older patient's ability to drive a motor vehicle safely, giving examples of patients in their eighties who elected to keep on driving even after losing their licenses. The chapter then considers the issue of patient privacy and the role of primary care physicians in arbitrating in family matters that only loosely belong within the category of health, citing driving as an example. It argues that the whole matter of elderly driver safety belongs outside of the medical examination room. The chapter also comments on the modern movement toward standardization in medicine and its potential impact on physician-patient relationships; evidence-based medicine (EBM); and the role of computers in medicine, and especially in the delivery of primary care medicine to elderly patients. Finally, the chapter desccribes how doctors typically spend time in geriatric care and suggests that medical care of the elderly is more art than science.

Keywords:   medical care, driving, patient privacy, physicians, physician-patient relationship, evidence-based medicine, computers in medicine, primary care medicine, elderly patients, geriatric care

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