This is a question I have asked myself over and over multiple times per day during the last six weeks.
One thing that has become increasingly apparent is bad things happen to both physicians and patients when physicians are not in charge of critical health care decision-making.
And right now, the world is paying a terrible price.
So, I ask ad nauseum why is this such a problem now? Admittedly, not everywhere but seemingly much more common where physicians do not have leadership roles in hospitals in medical centers and government.
Are medicine and business not compatible?
Honestly, I hardly think so. Unfortunately, however I think too many physicians find it distasteful, possibly beneath them, and perhaps too many think it maybe it should be somebody else’s job.
What I do not get is the seeming abdication on such a large scale of a profession at large to people with no real training in what we do.
It also appears that this mentality has been imparted into new physicians as well.
If this does not change, medicine as a profession will continue to suffer and unfortunately so will our patients. Admittedly, private practices are not for everyone. I get that for sure.
But staying ignorant of sound business principles and not insisting on physicians at the top has created tremendous problems for the patients we serve and of course our families.
So, what are the solutions?
Honestly, I think we can fix some of this with early exposure to basic business and legal principles. In my first go-round in health care as a DC during our last year of academics we spent 3 hours a week in mandatory business classes with an attorney who helped us navigate contracts, simple principles of law, as well as exposure to basic business and marketing principles. This forever shaped the way I thought health care was because quite frankly did I not just view these as essential but honestly enjoyable!
Besides aligning with physicians of similar mindsets, some business basics like rereading The Emyth Physician, and other entrepreneurial business books, classes, learning from our elders is a start.
But what we really need is a total game plan, sooner rather than later. Fortunately some such us Authentic Medicine and Physicians Working Together have stepped up and taken the lead.
I pray, a sleeping giant in Medicine has been awoken by COVID-19.