Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA

Director of Community Engagement of The Institute of Emerging Health Professions at Jefferson University

Latest Stories

The stethoscope is becoming obsolete, and that’s a real shame l Opinion

Laying hands on the patient is part of the tradition of medicine. It is a sign of trust and is the essence of the physician-patient relationship.

Should we want Medicare for all?

After I retired, I switched to Medicare. Although I had worked as a healthcare executive, I found it difficult to navigate the various supplemental plans that were offered, especially the plans for drug coverage.

How you can help decrease the rising costs of healthcare

I recently had my knee replaced. The surgery went very well and I was walking in a week. But then I received bills for my hospitalization and was shocked to find two charges for anesthesia.

Support counselors can keep addicts in recovery and out of prison

I recently had the opportunity to train an extraordinary group of individuals to be community health workers. They were former addicts in recovery, who were also receiving training to be certified recovery specialists for those still addicted. Many of them had been incarcerated and were also trained as forensic peer specialists to help fellow prisoners about to be released. Most of my students had previously been homeless and many now lived in shelters and were on welfare. I spent seven weeks with them and got to know them very well. After graduation, almost all of them had job offers.

Hospitalists, first do no harm. Pay attention to each patient's needs

My husband was recently hospitalized for 3 days at Jefferson. He is fine now and back to normal. When you are hospitalized, your care is taken over by a "hospitalist." These are doctors who only take care of patients in the hospital. Our past experience with hospitalists has not been optimum. Often, they do not take time to learn the patient's past history, repeat studies that have already been done elsewhere, and fail to communicate with the primary care physician who has been following the patient. They usually see the patient one time a day and there can be a lag time between when a study is ordered, is done, and then acted upon.

A single payer system could mean more coordinated care

I do not want to have to switch my health care coverage. For the past 15 years, I have had multiple spinal epidural injections to relieve my sciatic nerve pain. The injection lasts for 4-6 months and I am pain free during that interval. All of my records and images are at a major hospital in Delaware where I worked for 8 years. When I left that position I went on Medicare. My injections continued without a copay. I now work at a major health system in Philadelphia and receive health coverage through that health care system.