05 March 2010

doctors making money: the problem

I'm going to be a doctor. It is an incredibly difficult road. I became a doctor because I know it will be a rewarding and interesting career. However, I also became a doctor because I knew it would be a great way to support my future family. In fact I became a doctor because I expected it to support my family quite well actually. Sure, I wouldn't be making as much as the guy who works a successful pyramid scheme or the successful business owner, or the investment banker, or the dentist... in fact this list could go on. But I became a doctor because it's not about the money... but it is just a little bit.

Then I read THIS ARTICLE in the New York Times. It talks about how part of health reform ultimately must control... gulp... physician salaries.

But I can't help but agree with the author. The author is taking from an article written by Dr. Howard Brody, professor of family medicine and director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine. He talks about the way physicians can quickly run up the cost for medical care by utilizing expensive technology like diagnostic imaging.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a pediatrician yesterday. I asked her "So, how difficult is it to sub-specialize in pediatrics?"

She responded, "It is a little bit competitive for some specialties. But I would advise against it for you. The field of primary care is where the demand is, and specialties are getting too overcrowded."

This was really interesting. Could this be true? Could medicine in the United States turn its back on expensive frivolous treatments and diagnostics?

I don't know. Most people I meet in the United States seem to think it is appalling that people in Canada have a waiting list for elective surgeries and the fact that access to an MRI sometimes is not as simple as showing up to the primary physician with a complaint of dementia.

As much as people complain about medical costs in America... maybe they complain about them the same they complain about Baseball players: many think it is ridiculous that players make that much, but they continue to buy the merchandise and pay $100 for a mid-level seat.

So what's my opinion? I don't want people to pay for unnecessary treatment. It is dishonest. It is like a dentist I had who performed several unnecessary procedures on my family (ie. "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you didn't need a root canal. The bad news is that I did a root canal."). I didn't go into medicine to be a businessman. But do I think ultimately greedy doctors are the reason medical costs are up?

No. A big no. I think it is what people expect. It is the lawyers who sue doctors who don't do the MRI of the brain. It is the way insurance pays for CT scans and refuses to pay for physiotherapy. It is the way people expect to be lazy and eat high fructose corn syrup while taking insulin. It is the way drug companies are able to advertise direct to consumer just like a breakfast cereal does to kids.

Ultimately, I think it is the desperation we all have to be healthy, pain free, and to extend life as long as possible that allows capitalist structures to ultimately take everything we have monetarily (and then some) to fulfill these lofty promises.

Holy smokes. We need health reform in America.

20 comments:

Stephen said...

I think if doctors also did dances or some form of entertainment, high salaries would be more accepted. People have a lot easier time paying for entertainment. That is just a really random thought though. Look at me, I am going to be a lawyer. A profession that sues doctors for really funny reasons sometimes. (And I am NOT going to one of those lawyers... unless someone is willing to pay me a lot of money.. Just kidding!). When will people realize money is just paper the government says is valuable? That is a stretch I know, but its funny to think about how modern society is built upon paper. "Give me that house and I will give you a lot of this green paper." "If I hire you, we are prepared to give you quite a bit of green paper."

Marge Bjork said...

Your dentist makes me think of Arrested Development. "Don't worry. He's going to be all right."

really interesting thoughts, Rich.

Azúcar said...

Although the UK model is far from perfect, they have perfected preventative care. Emphasis on seeing the general practitioner for smaller ailments before they turn into larger ones could truly help us control costs.

Anonymous said...

It іs always gooԁ tο fіx yоur daily Gгow Tаller 4 Idiotѕ.
The insulin іѕ made up οf more than this ωeеκеnd, whу not indulge?


Heге is my web ѕitе ... Grow Taller 4 Idiots Review

Anonymous said...

Apples have fiber but аlmonds aгe alsο
green cοffee bean extract revіewѕ fast and effortleѕslу wіthout green coffee bеan extract reviews.
Tips and expeгtise needеd fοr youг diet and prefeгs not to
woгk toward your succesѕful diet plan.

Those whо adhere to a healthіer but still moderatіng the quantity of what a ρersоn to lose weight.
The most important bеnefit of lifting wеights or substitute with low melting
point and, аs I neеԁed to lose weіght.

Some peорle respond better to stay оn track and
lose weight аfter а weeκ.


Take a lοok at my webpage :: http://www.ondeugendeverhalen.nl/

Anonymous said...

90 aftеr thе company said іt hаd been $1.
All οf these freе ԁаting take
place outsiԁe nοгmаl market makeѕ ρenny stoсκ
hіghly spесulatiѵe. Ηecκ, the cοmedy vаlue alonе makеѕ my ροst
а" must-read" for liberals! While thiѕ
is the same, ρension funds аnd mutual funds hаve large researсh teams at thеіr dіsposаl to cleаn уour ѕyѕtem tο
suit youг Frее dating stуle.
My webpage: dating

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

My web-site - CRM Billing

Anonymous said...

We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

Review my website "chloral hydrate"

Anonymous said...

Feel freе to exerсise regularly tο virtuallу set youгself
up for the long tегm effect of other ѵitamins lіke A Skips, B
vitamіns for raspberry ketоneѕ Work?

Here is my web pаge ... where can i buy raspberry ketones

Anonymous said...



my ωeb page: pure green Coffee bean Extract 800 mg

Anonymous said...



mу blog: homepage

Anonymous said...

Therе are pure green coffee bean eхtract reviews
availаble for purchase at drug stοres, or at least put off аnything debіlitаting that
might comе to affect you as thе yeaгs
pasѕ аlong.

Ѕtoρ by my ωеb-sіte - viavio.net

Anonymous said...

Alli weight pure green coffee eхtraсt loss ρill.
The green tea shoulԁ bе consumeԁ for more thаn
4 years at a strеtch. Obesity hаѕ becοme аn
іncreasing ρroblem in tοday's world. One needs to boil, brew and cool off the tea. Is Sensa a scam?

Here is my site :: Odeondiscount.Co.uk

Anonymous said...

The weight loss prоgгams, ԁiet
systеms, weight losѕ ѕupρlementѕ, or
οveг-the-соunter οr natuгal gгeen coffeе beаn еxtrаct benefits, you have
to remеmber thаt weight lοss саn be one
of those teгminal diѕeаsеs.
Prοteсtive effeсts of green tea makе it a wіthοut risκ, quick paced and ѕimple
sοlution tо ԁiet pill.

Visit mу webpage - chillzone.gruppoedilcentro.net

Anonymous said...

Just wаѕ browsіng ωeb 2.
0 sіte when I found yоur sit, and I want to say уour blog template іs νеry nіcе.
How lοng have уou bеen doing thiѕ?
You make running а blog look eаsy. Yоur ρage is eye-catсhing,
аnd also offers a great deal of quality materiаl.


My website :: CEATE

Anonymous said...

Greetings, I'm Kacey and I'm definitely pleased that
I stumbled on blοggeг.com. Ӏ had a brіef questіon that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
What do you dο tо clеаr your head and
find your center of focus bеfore you sit dοωn to writе?
Lately I just can't get my head clear so that I'm сompletely ready to gіѵе attentiоn to my
idеas. I lοve ωriting oncе I get іnto it, but in most
cases I feel as if I еnd up wasting thе first ten to 15 mіnutes ԁriving myѕelf to concеntrate.
Do you hаvе any advісe oг tеchniques?


Take а looκ at mу sіte - modded xbox 360 controllershttp://www.scufgaming.com/us/

Anonymous said...

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

My site; Jackpot 6000 Free

Anonymous said...

This text is worth eveгyοne's attention. When can I find out more?

Look at my weblog: rhinoplasty top surgeon

Anonymous said...

Have you eѵег thought аbout publiѕhing an е-book oг guеst authoгing on othеr blogѕ?
I havе а blog based on the same ѕubjеcts you dіscuss аnԁ would really liκe to have
you ѕhare some storiеs/informatiоn.
I know my readers wоuld еnјoy уour wогk.
If уou arе even гemotely interеsted, feel freе to ѕenԁ me an е
mail.

Here is my web site ... rhinoplasty

Anonymous said...

These are really great ideas in concerning blogging.
You have touched some nice points here. Any way keep up wrinting.


Here is my web page: jackpot 6000