September 14, 2016
By Judith Garber, MPP
When Ricardo Correa, MD, moved from Panama to Miami for his residency, he was shocked to find the extent to which doctors in the United States perform unnecessary procedures.
“In Panama, we don’t have so many resources, so we do a lot of clinical work instead of imaging and tests. We would make a diagnosis through a really good history and physical,” said Correa. “Here, there are tests that lead to more and more and more for no reason.”
Now, as a physician and faculty member at the Brown University Alpert Medical School, Correa is a passionate advocate for evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care. For Right Care Action Week, Correa is manning a Listening Booth in the Rhode Island Hospital lobby, and handing out “What Worries You” cards to patients. (See last week’s blog on Maia Dorsett, MD for more on the “What Worries You” exercise). His main goal is to learn what Rhode Island patients think about their health care, and what could be improved. As a new Rhode Island resident, Correa is interested in geographic differences in health care delivery and patient satisfaction.
Correa also sees Right Care Action Week as a way to get other doctors involved with the right care movement. As the one of the first Right Care Educators, Correa is constantly exploring new ways to spread awareness of right care principles to his fellow doctors. One method is using patients’ experiences as case studies in rounds, to bring cases of wrong care to the department’s attention. Correa also plans to integrate stories from the tabling event into research he is conducting with the Rhode Island Medical Society, so physicians statewide will better understand what patients need.
And the “What Worries You” cards are especially useful because of their simplicity- even the busiest doctor has time to give their patient a card, says Correa.
Correa has been fighting for right care for a long time and is very aware of the challenges ahead. Nevertheless, he is optimistic.
“Change is difficult and it will take time, but if you train the new generation, it will be easier,” says Correa. “A few years from now, the medical students, residents, and young physicians will be in leadership positions and can make decisions.”
Learn more about Right Care Action Week, and get involved here!