Ridiculous Study of the Week II: Medicine as a Calling

A Mayo Clinic Proceedings study concluded that “physicians who experience more burnout are less likely to identify with medicine as a calling. Erosion of the sense that medicine is a calling may have adverse consequences for physicians as well as those for whom they care.”

Does anyone else see this conclusion as astoundingly obvious?  If the system beats the crap out of you and burns you out then you lose that sense of purpose (calling).  No shit. This had to be studied?  And then they take a bigger risk in saying that this burnout has adverse consequences?  No shit.

Am I missing something here?


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]

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6 Responses

  1. Sir Hakum of Hugo says:

    I unearthed a study in the Imperial Journal of Medicine from Japan in 1945. The study showed that Kamikaze pilots had a higher morale and higher levels of dedication than the regular pilots who planned to return home after finishing their day job.

    To paraphrase, even with loads of Mustard and Mayo, a stink sandwich is still a stink sandwich.

  2. Pat says:

    On its surface, this is ludicrous. What I regard as more sinister is an underlying assumption by the researchers, those funding them, and those who would use these results: the assumption that medicine ought to be a “calling,” by definition practiced by those who are willfully, even enthusiastically sacrificing themselves. Every major pressure on modern physicians suggests to them and to the public at large that their specific purpose is to sacrifice themselves for some arbitrary greater good. The schizophrenia of it all is how the value of doctors is constantly extolled, and those same doctors are progressively more abused by the patients, hospitals, insurance companies, and government that declare their value.

    Modern medicine is: patients constantly arguing with, and distrustful of physicians; insurance companies forever seeking to cheat physicians; hospitals exploiting physicians; quasi-governmental bodies (MOC) extorting physicians; predatory lawyers stalking physicians; government threatening physicians. Modern medicine is about conflict, not comfort. Trying to suggest that it is a calling is a subtle, despicable way for those who want to control physicians to cover over the true state of affairs.

  3. HJR says:

    It always amazes me that there is an entire industry full of MPH’s continuously churning out this absolute nonsense. Only government money could be so stupid.

  4. Thomas Guastavino says:

    Being a physician is like someone who loves strawberries but at the same time are deathly allergic to them. While you are eating them you may love the taste but you pay for it later.

    • Sir Hakum of Hugo says:

      While I’m thinking of it, Dr. G., you are quite the rhetorical warrior on KevinMD.
      Awesome work my friend.

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