How to be an Authentic Doctor #11: You Are Not Guilty

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There is an assumption that doctors are doing bad things.  It is as if we are guilty until proven innocent.  Did you ever notice that?  Even the whole Medicare billing disclosure incident was a way to show how physicians are gaming the system.  The truth is that other than a rare few, doctors are just doing their job.

I don’t know why this attitude exists.  Maybe it is because others are jealous?   Of what, you ask?   Well, survey after survey says that being a physician is still one of the most highly respected professions while politicians and lawyers are two of the least.   You might as well add hospital administrators to that second and sad list.  Is it any wonder that those three groups are the impetus to most of the mandates that have made this career of ours so impossible at times?

In an article titled “How Becoming a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession” the author stated:

The meme is that doctors are getting away with something and need constant training, watching and regulating. With this in mind, it’s almost a reflex for policy makers to pile on the regulations. Regulating the physician is an easy sell because it is a fantasy—a Freudian fever dream—the wish to diminish, punish and control a disappointing parent, give him a report card, and tell him to wash his hands.

Who perpetuates this crap?  Well, that is where conspiracy theories come from and I don’t want people to think that I believe there is some sort of a covert plan to destroy us doctors.  For a conspiracy to occur, more than one party would need to be working together.  I can’t prove that.  No, what I think is going on is that there are multiple parties who may or may not be working together but all of them do have an OVERT plan to destroy us doctors.  There, I said it.

Why do I think this?  Look all around you and you will see that there is a constant campaign to drive a wedge between physicians and patients. The fact that 79% of patients trust their doctor does not sit well with other professions and this drives them wild.

The other parties need to break our trust with our patients because this trust limits their power with patients.  Those other groups, who are making most of the money in the healthcare system, do this by creating new language, uncovering new controversies and fabricating new problems to cause doubt in the patients’ minds.

It is so easy for them to do this, too.  Don’t we see this happen all the time, anyway?  Everyone wants to see a hero fall (fill in any athlete or celebrity of choice).  So these other groups are able to manipulate the media and help them create negative headlines to make doctors look bad.  Remember, the goal is to break our bond with our patients so they do this by creating mistrust, which takes control away from us.  Not that we physicians didn’t help them over the years but that is another story.  Other than power, what is in it for these other groups?  Oh, that is easy: money.

As I have said many times before, administrators have been multiplying faster than Tribbles over the years.  See the chart.  Remember, these administribbles produce NOTHING.   They offer no wares that bring in any revenue.  They depend on us.  So…they must make it feel like we depend on them.  In essence, they try to convince the world that they need to watch over doctors in order to validate their own existence.  If they don’t, they risk us getting smart and trying to get rid of them.

Politicians and lawyers (the ambulance chasing ones) can be, and are thought of as, lowlifes.  That doesn’t sit well with their egos so for the politicians, they are always looking to make examples of those “crooked” doctors.  They grandstand whenever any bad outcome occurs (usually brought to their attention by lawyers) and then create mandates and hoops for doctors to jump through.  The lawyers, on the other hand, continue to put out ads asking people to sue their doctors who were obviously out to hurt them.  Then the lawyers become politicians and the cycle perpetuates itself.

There are many other ways to break up the patient/physician relationship.   Just watch the headlines:

  1. Doctors need new guidelines.
  2. Doctors doing a poor job with x disease.
  3. Surgeons making more mistakes.
  4. Physicians not treating patients’ pain adequately.
  5. Physicians the cause for the pain medicine addiction epidemic.
  6. Doctors need oversight from gifts given by pharmaceutical companies
  7. Do patients trust doctors too much?  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/health/18chen.html

Did you ever notice that the older TV shows always made us look good?  How about the newer ones?  Not so much.  Doctors are doing drugs, or are having major personal problems, etc.  That is what we are dealing with.

No, we are not perfect.  No one is.   But we are also not guilty.  We need to stop feeling like we are.  Enjoy the fact that what we have those idiots can’t get.   There is a connectedness between patients and their doctors. That bond cannot be translated or defined or stolen.

Be aware.  Be aware that these headlines are just for selling advertising.    Be aware that there is an overt push to break us up from our patients.  Be aware that you may be starting to believe these things.  Don’t.

51230cookie-checkHow to be an Authentic Doctor #11: You Are Not Guilty