It Never Can Happen Here …Right? by Pat Conrad MD

In light of the recent brouhaha in Wisconsin, we’ve heard a lot about the appropriateness of public unions.  Some say they represent a built-in conflict of interests, and even arch-liberal FDR opposed them.  I’ve always felt a instinctive distaste for unions, but have to admit that a group of private citizens should be able to associate in support of their own goals.  And as much as public unions represent a huge potential for corruption under the protection of government monopoly…what if it was us?

In a fight over pension benefits (sound familiar?) British GP’s have threatened a strike.  The funny response by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is that the doctors can catch up on their missed work by working an extra day on the following Saturday.  To which I hope the GP’s will respond with a collective expletive, and run off to become soccer hooligans, or whatever it is they do in their spare time.

Might I change my mind on the rightness of public unions if I were in one?  I might if, as a formerly private citizen, I was forced into one, in which case I will cheer in a permanent blind rage for U.S. doctors no longer worthy of the title “American” to exact whatever greedy, strangling toll we can on the society that turned us into a utility.

Whether Obama Care is struck down or upheld, we are accelerating into a nationalized health care system, and muddle-headed U.S. doctors had better face this oncoming trainwreck squarely.  Or be prepared to work Saturday.




Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “It Never Can Happen Here …Right? by Pat Conrad MD

  1. June 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Pat, if you’re ever part of a directly-publicly-financed health care system, I’d encourage you to join or form a union. As you correctly point out so often, frontliners such as family physicians can get screwed by management, in response to political indifference, and this could happen to you.
    I’ve belonged to 3 unions: Teamsters, railroad workers, and the NEA, of which I’m still a retired member. When I started teaching in 1957, the NEA was a politely weak outfit. The only reason the profession has started to gain some strength/benefits is because we grew some balls and demanded a voice at the table. Otherwise, other interested parties (politicians, industry/business)will tell you how high to jump, and the students/patients are the ones who wind up cheated.

    • June 21, 2012 at 1:56 am

      Pat, I certainly can’t argue with you there.

  2. mary kerber
    June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    sorry to say, unless we unionize or organize we will be relegated to cookbook medicine with poor compensation. We stand to become victims of our own nurtuting instinct. Again, no act of kindness or decency will ever go unpunished. Maybe it is time to consider working in another country??
    Australia or New Zealand sounds better every year. At least, the rules and governing bodies are more stable. The threat of “what may or may not be” here is exhausting and frightening. Obama or not.

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