Med Tech Report

Risking it all on the miracle of teamwork


On Feb. 4, 2018, with his team narrowly leading the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made an audacious 4th-and-goal call. At the suggestion of backup quarterback Nick Foles, Pederson chose to rely on his team’s ability to execute the “Philly Special.” This was a risky trick play that was rehearsed but never tested, and one which could prove disastrous unless executed just right. With 34 seconds left in the first half, the Eagles pulled it off. Foles caught the ball in the end zone, securing his team’s place in football history and becoming the first quarterback to both throw for and catch a touchdown in one Super Bowl. He was named MVP and led the team to its first NFL title in 58 years.

For those of us who call Philadelphia our home, Super Bowl 52 represented so much more than just a victory, it was a miracle. We have long endured the highs and lows of Philadelphia football, watching as year after year our hopes were dashed by coaches and players who showed such promise, yet demonstrated such disappointment. But this year everything changed.

Dr. Chris Notte (left) and Dr. Neil Skolnik

True fans could sense something different in the weeks leading up to that cold February day in Minneapolis. As the Eagle’s chances of competing in the Super Bowl grew more and more possible, the narrative wasn’t about any star player or member of the coaching staff, but instead the story of an incredible team. Even after the injury of starting quarterback and football phenom Carson Wentz in week 14, players and fans never lost hope in the promise of victory. Finally, Philadelphia had the team that could, and would, pull off something that had heretofore seemed like only an impossible dream.

It occurs to us that physicians should find the story of the Philadelphia Eagles not only inspirational, but also aspirational, even more so after reading the original research published by Dr. Richard Young, et al. in the February issue of Family Medicine.1 In this article, Dr. Young and his colleagues observed physicians during 982 patient encounters. The group measured the total visit time, face-to-face time, non-face time, and EHR work time (before, during, and after patient hours). The results weren’t surprising: Physicians spend more time working in the EHR than they spend in face-to-face time with patients.

Next Article: