February 25, 2016
It’s time to start writing again. The American medical system continues to change rapidly and those changes affect the care you receive. First, let me say that I believe my profession has died. Doctors have become human service technician and medical clerks. It’s sad but true. My kind of doc is soon to be extinct.
The article listed below and published on KevinMD today is excellent. While Dr Bowron’s article addresses the concerns of hospitalists, their concerns and problems are universal.
For those of you who do not have the time to read the entire article, there are two paragraphs that I think are particularly important. The first:
“There’s a romantic yet antiquated notion that doctors are at the peak of the health care pyramid. But it’s the MBAs — some of them with MDs — who are in charge now, and the business of health care demands what every other business demands: ever-increasing efficiency. We must all do more with less. Ostensibly this will lower health care premiums for everyone — or just increase profits for the health care industry.”
Medicine was never supposed to be a business. Medicine was a noble profession when I started in 1980. It is most definitely a business now with all the profits going to the one percent at the top of the management structure. Those of us in the “caring division” are suffering, trying to deliver good care with dwindling resources.
The second important quote is:
“What will never be part of the system is the sacred space that I and an ailing patient occupy when I pull a chair to the bedside and commit all of my energy, education, and humanity to listening to and deciphering his or her story. Because becoming ill is a story, an intensely personal one. When we are sick, we descend into our most primal human state, surrounded by the surreal and vulnerable notion of our own mortality, confronted by the fact that the only “skin in the game” any of us has is our own skin.”
Dr. Bowron couldn’t be more right. Unfortunately, I fear his kind are soon to be extinct. In the corporate world of medicine, one is forced to sit down by the computer and interface with its screen and keyboard leaving precious little time to hear anything other than the clicking of the key.
How sad reality has become!