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David Burda cites long working hours, shrinking reimbursement and overregulation as just a few of the reasons why doctors are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the practice of medicine (“Who’d answer this job ad?” July 5, p 16).
I would add to the list: dealing with administrative bureaucracy, time pressure, loss of autonomy and the constant threat of malpractice litigation. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 5 physicians are dissatisfied with their career. As a result, newly minted doctors are making specialty choices based on lifestyle considerations, and midcareer physicians are practicing boutique medicine or taking international locum tenens assignments. fundamental problem that is ignored by administrative types who look to industry and the politicians to give them the vector in sick care, also known as “current access to public funds and industry cash incentives.”
The fundamental locus of correction of “healthcare” are the ways we M.D.s and D.O.s practice Medicine: 1. Defensive medical-legal care. 2. Reactive symptomatic knee-jerk drug regimens, procedures for presenting symptoms— forget the actual cause. Here, it is indeed strange, as we do teach our medical students anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, which is quickly convenience-jettisoned for drugs and devices manipulatively favored by profit/stockholder driven pharmaceutical/device companies and so-called “not-for-profit” hospitals.
3. The sick-care insurance companies clearly encourage the quick office-drug, procedure fix, while the general populace, not knowing any better, is looking to the microwave-type doctor response requiring no or little effort on their parts to be responsible individuals.
The minimalist efforts by administrators to toothpick-bolster an already recognized, declared by all, unquestionably broken system of “care” will be looked on with a head shake in the future when sick-care costs top the $3 trillion mark.
We, the M.D.s and D.O.s, need to wake up ASAP and gather together coherently, to tell the insurance companies and the heads-in-sand politicians with their “healthcare” administrator accomplices to literally get lost, and return to the patient-centered practice we are really sworn to uphold. To the doctors, hear the clarion call to your true professional roots. Martin Plotkin
Physician Wellness Concepts
St. Charles, Ill.