“I love being a doctor but I hate practicing medicine,” a friend, Saeed Siddiqui, told me recently. We were sitting in his office amid his many framed medical certificates and a poster of an illuminated lighthouse that read: “Success doesn’t come to you. You go to it.”“
Not Emergency Medicine physicians who don’t have all of the problems listed. Primary Care and specialty physicians are complaining that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to practice good medicine. Insurance companies, both the private ones and the biggest ones run by the government are denying claims, restricting what tests can be run, insisting on generic drugs when brand names are prescribed, and burying doctors under mountains of paperwork.
Then there is the ever rising cost of malpractice insurance.
More and more doctors are giving up private practice or medicine entirely. Others are opening “boutique” practices where they limit the number of patients they see and require a retainer up front.
Then there are the divorce and suicide rates, which are way above the rates for the general population.
One doctor in the article is even considering giving up medicine to open a convenience store, it’s that bad.
We’ve built the best medical care system in the world and now it seems that we can’t afford to keep it running. Which is not to say that socialized or centralized medicine is the answer. If you think it is, look at both the wait times and who gets treated decisions in England and Canada.
I don’t think that doctors are overpaid given their education and the costs of running even a small practice.
Nor do I think that “Big Pharm” is the villian. Or “Big Insurance” for that matter.
I have to wonder if “Big Government” is more the problem than the solution. As I get older, I have less and less faith in politicians and bureaucrats to solve any problem, big or small. That’s just me, so if you have a different opinion, I’m all ears.
The article doesn’t offer any answers and neither can I. I’m not even sure it’s the crisis that the NY Times would have us think it is since they don’t cite any hard statistics.
I have to wonder when and how much this is going to effect EMS, because you know at some point it is.
Don’t forget to read the comments that accompany the article.