Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who is the Driver's Ed teacher?

In this study, primary care physicians were asked, "How important do you feel it is for patients to be well informed when making decisions about managing chronic conditions?  89% of the doctors felt it was very important.  At the same time, they felt only 15% of patients were well informed when making decisions about managing chronic conditions.  They felt 31% were not well informed.

To keep it real, what does the DSP blog think it for a diabetic to get an A?  In a nutshell, diabetics would need to know:  a) their goal A1C (typically <7%); b) their goal bp (typically <130/80); c) their goal LDL (depends, typically < 70 or <100); d) why they need to get a dilated eye exam once a year; e) why they need to have their kidneys checked for protein once / year.  That's pretty much it.  It seems pretty basic.  And yet the DSP blog would be concerned that most diabetics would not know theses answers.

This begs the obvious question--why so many driver's ed students getting low grades?  Who is responsible for how few patients get an A in this subject,  and how almost 1/3 are getting a D or F?

Obviously, this is a complicated question, and even though the DSP blog completely knows the answer, due to limited space here and the need for me to go to work, it will have to posit some thoughts to get the conversation started (at least that's the idea--come on, people, can you start pushing the comment button a few more times?):

1)  If being well informed translates into better outcomes (and that is a big if--driver's ed students have to be motivated to actually stop at the stop signs, stay within some approximation of the speed limit, for driver's ed to have much of an effect--then the DSP blog thinks driver's ed schools represent quite an opportunity for several key players affected by the high costs of poorly informed drivers.

2)  The DSP blog feels that doctors must take at least some of the blame for the low grades.  Some obviously seem to take a greater role playing driver's ed instructor than others.   The DSP blog is thinking about trying to find one of those kinds for itself.

3)  Patients deserve at least some of the blame for their low grades.  Perhaps Dr Google isn't the most effective way to learn how to drive.

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