You, Doctor, Are The Problem

Like a lot of you, I’m feeling a little tired after the last two months of winter.  Along with a bigger than average flu pandemic, and the annual cold weather circus of COPD flares and mothers needing back-to-school notes for pink-eyed urchins, I packed in a few extra hours.  No that’s not a complaint, just a recognition that filling the 24/7 schedules for small town and rural ER’s can be challenging.  The doctor shortage you may have heard about is real, and a lot of the regulars on whom our ER’s depend are themselves full-time local primary care docs who moonlight on evenings and weekends.  For many of them, it’s a combination of wanting to support their local hospital and community, and also needing to supplement their shriveling private practice profit margins.
Which is why I thought this story was an absolute laugh riot.  Seems the author Matthew Yglesias has pinpointed the trouble with high health care costs:  doctors make too much.  He specifically wants more patients on Medicare as a way to pay doctors less.  Leaving aside questions regarding the proper compensation for moronic pseudo-journalists, Mr. Y both admits that Medicare’s “uncapped commitment …is a big challenge”, and declares that expanding the program is the only way to control costs.  Of course the shortfalls in physician numbers that would result from a general lowering of physician incomes would be offset by – TAAADAAAHHH – more NP’s and PA’s aka LELT’s.
Ordinarily I get pretty angry over an ignoramus third-party making value judgements regarding my worth.  But it’s late and I’ll save the philosophical counter-attack for another day.  I’m of more practical bent tonight:  it is already routinely tough to staff small, ER’s with competent physicians who are willing to do the work at odd hours.  So to all the do-gooder journalists and compassion merchants I say, “bring it on.”  Let’s see what happens when the average doc no longer finds it worthwhile to put in those extra hours.

A Collaborative Work From Some of the Writers at Authentic Medicine

These editorials are from some of the writers here at Authentic Medicine. The opinions expressed by these authors do not necessarily purport to reflect the opinions or views of other writers of this blog. Each collaborative work may, in fact, be from different authors.

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1 Response

  1. Sir Allyagottadois: says:

    I would like to offer them the query, ” How much SHOULD an individual be paid who got into college, was top of their college class to get to medical school. For four grueling year ( or more ). Dedicated many hours, at a calculated below minimum wage,started their career 12 or more years behind their high school buddies, works 60 hours a weeks. Make like-saving and life-preserving decisions on a daily basis?” What is that worth? They are clueless.

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