A Simple Answer by Patrick Conrad MD


For a laugh and/or hangover cure, I was on the couch this evening perusing the latest “Family Practice News” and voila!, it did not disappoint.  Under “Policy & Practice”, I learned that the RAND Corp. did a recent study in conjunction with an AMA project “designed to identify the factors that influence physicians’ professional satisfaction.”  The big bugaboo to job satisfaction noted was “current EHR technology” that interferes with patient interaction, makes doctors do too much clerical horse-hockey, and degrades the accuracy of medical records via a template mentality.

Doug and others speak out all the time to debunk studies made lousy over an agenda which presumes the results, so let me chime in…this project is C-R-A-P!    How do I know?

The lead sentence for the article is:  “Providing quality patient care drives physician satisfaction…”  The summary sentence is:  “Other sources of physician dissatisfaction include productivity quotas, limits on time spent with each patient, and overall workload.”  Nowhere in the entire article does it mention money, cash, moolah, sawbucks, or any other remunerative term you might wish to employ.  This is the AMA and its AAFP lapdog using RAND to tell us all that docs are selfless martyrs who only want to sacrifice themselves efficiently, with no thought of payment.  They think they are cleverly misdirecting the public and their colleagues away from the real issue – $$$ – which will happen, one day, eventually, if we all just buck up and get on board with the team.

Well I’m calling BS.  The AMA et al have pushed for years to achieve and further all the things leading to greater physician dissatisfaction, and EHR’s are right at the top of the list.  We all live in an ICD/CPT, audit-misery, malpractice storm cloud, bitchy-patient world, with waves of P4P on the way.  If our organized medicine masters and their data-crunch propagandists want the real skinny on how to increase MY satisfaction, here is a simple answer:  more money.   Go ahead and rag on my anger and cynicism over this if you like, but the fact is, I’m the one doing the work.


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] 

  2 comments for “A Simple Answer by Patrick Conrad MD

  1. Kurt
    November 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    It’s simple, more oldsters like me are telling the youngsters to stay away from FP , IM, IM/peds. One has to be moron to go into primary care these days. Not a thing is going to change until people are held responsible for their shitty habits. I was trained to do the best I can with what the patient “allow me” to accomplish for them.
    If they fail to follow my advice. I do the best I can to mop up the mess. I go home with no worries.

    Obnoxious people, I fire or they leave on their own accord.
    Outside of the “ROAD” specialties that Dr. Doug espouses (Radiology, Opthomalogy, Anesthesia or Radiology)
    I think training as a “generalist” cardiologist is a good prospect. Hell, if one doesn’t get cancer, the heart is the next big thing to go. Can pawn off the diabetes to their “primary care” idiot who can’t get them to bring their sugar diary to the office. I’ve been told that cardiology fellows will have 5 job offers before they complete their last year.

  2. Ken
    November 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Compensation is always important, though work load is crucial also. And obnoxious patients are an under-rated source of burn out, and have certainly put lots of gray hairs on my head.

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