Ann McIntosh MD, BSN, FACEP
Dr. McIntosh has over 30 years of experience in healthcare. She has worn many hats, primarily on the “front line” where she still practices as an Emergency Physician. In addition, she was a Medical Director of Population Health for a major healthcare company, deepening her understanding of the healthcare system. She also worked as a nurse for seven years prior to Medical School. She is a passionate educator and teaches extensively in rural, urban and underserved settings in the U.S., as well as internationally.
Dr. McIntosh received her Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1993 and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico in 1996. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Nursing in 1983, also from the University of Minnesota.
She has a lifelong commitment to improving health and healthcare, along with a broad understanding and vision of health, healthcare and the economics of healthcare.
Ann is creative and innovative and can take the complexities of health, emergency care, and navigating the health care system and make them understandable and manageable. She is a passionate and engaging speaker. She is practical, realistic and action oriented and enjoys working collaboratively to develop realistic, practical, sustainable solutions and working together towards a culture of health.
Dr. McIntosh founded McIntoshMD LLC to put her passion and knowledge to work to make a positive impact on more people than is possible seeing people one at a time in a clinical setting. Her goal is to provide appropriate, customized education to help people understand their health and empower people to use value based healthcare planning, leading to better health, better healthcare, and better finances.
My Passion. My Beliefs. My Mission.
My mission stems from my passion and beliefs. Together, they have developed from over 30 years of experience in the healthcare system. Primarily in the trenches as an Emergency Department Physician, but from other roles as well, all influenced by who I am. Besides being an ED doc (no, not erectile dysfunction); it was probably as an ICU and ED nurse that some of my most powerful and shaping experiences took place.
I “tell it like it is,” in the spirit of honesty and with the belief that if we don’t know the truth, we can’t take the right actions. This is particularly true, and difficult with healthcare, as some of the facts in healthcare are unpleasant, specific truths are not always known, and things can be extremely complex. Being “just a normal person” (a patient compliment!) that had a dream to serve people as a physician, I have a “down to earth,” practical, realistic approach to health and healthcare that I share in a solutions focused, understandable way.
Some of my driving beliefs/concerns are as follows:
- WE CAN BE BETTER; as physicians, providers, consumers’ and as a population; better physically, emotionally, financially, and economically. All of these are tied together. The U.S. cannot improve its economy or compete on a global scale until healthcare spending is brought under control. I believe with education, understanding and some simple actions with a focus on health, this can be accomplished. There is a significant portion of the U.S. population who want to “do the right thing” in terms of health and healthcare, but the system is just too complex and people don’t have reliable sources to know what the right things are. I will be that resource for you.
- First do no harm. Harm includes encouraging people to spend money on products and procedures that won’t work and placing an insurmountable financial burden on them. Strict compliance with first do no harm could possibly “fix” our healthcare system.
- Consumers of healthcare need to be educated and empowered to be skilled navigators of the system until the system changes. A “TIPPING POINT” of consumers need to be educated, activated and empowered to change the system. Consumers also have to understand what good healthcare is. More does not equal better, medicine is not an exact science, and what is right for one person may not be right for another.
- There is too much “knee JERK” medicine.
- There is inexcusable waste in the system.
- We can focus on health and quality of life, and the money will follow. Focusing on money is not the way to go.
- “Fixing” the healthcare system will require collaborative change by payors, providers and the population (consumers); and de-politicization of the process.
- There is mal-distribution of healthcare, some have too much, some have too little; BOTH must be addressed.
- We must actually decrease healthcare spending, not just continue to cost shift. Cost cutting not cost shifting.
- More is not better. Healthcare overuse is a problem.
- We need culture change, we need a “culture of health,” a “culture of prevention”, not a culture of fixing.
- We must address “consumer driven” and “survey driven” medicine.
- We must address physician burnout.
- We must address the “victim mentality” and lack of engagement of all stakeholders.
- Politics, sensationalism and attention seeking need to be removed (or banned?) from the conversation. It’s not about rationing or death panels. It’s about good care. It’s about doing the right thing. I call it “before rationing,” but actually, rationing NEVER has to be an issue. There are enough simple things to do, if we all started doing them TODAY, we would decrease spending significantly and painlessly.
Mission Possible. Better Health, Better Healthcare.