Thursday, February 27, 2014

On the destruction of medicine as a profession: "Try bending a lawyer over a barrel"

From a physician colleague, a dedicated professional, reposted with redaction of locale with permission.

This speaks for itself.  I believe there are a great number of medical professionals who would speak out this way, if they did not fear retaliation (as does my colleague, hence anonymity) or if they were not suffering from the syndrome of clinician learned helplessness (


Yesterday I spent some time in a family docs office in [redacted] who has been experiencing an EHR failure in his office. Naturally its messed up his work flow not to mention occupying hours on end of his ostensibly personal time. His reaction was mostly one of frustration.

In another situation, the ABMS is acquiring near dictatorial powers over physicians' livelihoods by essentially mandating an expensive, time consuming jumping through of hoops in the form of MOC requirements which may well evolve into MOL. Its a shakedown. Except for a few thousand members of AAPS that is seeking legal redress in Federal court, organized medicine is silent. Physicians who are undoubtedly frustrated just play the game in a grim resignation.

Where is the moral outrage? Where is the righteous anger? Another physician, a close friend of mine, feels exactly the same way. This healthcare system is poisoning our souls and is engaged in a full frontal assault against our ability to ply our trade (which we have invested so dearly in) as critical, free thinking human beings.

Extortion at its best. More ominously, we are being extinguished, not transformed,  as a profession. Remolded into subservient "providers". With little blow back. Can you even imagine any other profession allowing this to happen? Try bending a lawyer over a barrel. We are exploited blue collar workers without union representation. We are essentially working in a  meatpacking plant that Sinclair Lewis wrote of.

I am so tired and ashamed of being associated with a gutless group of people who call themselves physicians. I just had to get it off my chest.

If people remain indifferent to having their physicians bureaucratically overburdened and demoralized, the outcome will not be pretty in times of medical extremis.

-- SS


Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Mark Twain:

In a democracy people get the healthcare system they deserve.

Anonymous said...

~"We are being extinguished not transformed." ~
In 2009 and even 2010, I came upon many physicians who knew very little about what was about to CHANGE THE WAY THEY PRACTICED FOREVER !

Now, Sadly, it will probably take the not so popular union to put physicians back in their rightful place of practicing medicine and extinguish the greedy bastards in the C suite.

james gaulte said...

Amen,amen.Thank you for speaking out.And to anonymous number 1,the founders were interested in setting up a republic ,they were not so enthusiastic about democracy and worried abut the tyranny of democracy which maybe what we are getting good and hard.

EastCoaster said...

Teachers (I assume they count as professionals) are definitely being treated that way.

And a lot of lawyers make very little money while physicians are guaranteed a decent income. But my point is that this is not unique to physicians.