In recent years I’ve seen both many physicians complaining that their jobs aren’t what they used to be. They blame Obamacare. They blame high taxes. They blame all sorts of progressive policies. Here’s my summary of the chorus:
I went to medical school to be revered in society. I went to have the most respect of anybody. The best cars, the best women, the best everything.
And now, with all these changes to healthcare, and the high taxes, it’s almost like I’m just someone who’s paid a lot of money to help people.
Yuk. Anything but that, right?
Here’s a crazy idea: maybe if you got into medicine to be famous and live like an oil baron, then it’s good that you’re leaving. Maybe people like you are the reason it costs around $40,000 to have a baby in the United States. Maybe people like you are the reason hospitals force multiple unnecessary and expensive tests every time someone shows up.
Maybe it’s because the doctors who run the hospitals and other main infrastructure are these same types of people who see medicine as a way to become wealthy instead of a way to help people. The average hospital CEO makes nearly a million dollars in total compensation—to run a hospital.
Perhaps “greedy” and “practice medicine” are two concepts that don’t go well together. If you wanted to be worshipped you should have learned to sing, play guitar, or started a cult. You’re supposed to be in a profession focused on others, not on yourself.
So, for those physicians departing for more fame and money, I offer a fake wave, a fake smile, and a single word:
- This is obviously not all American doctors. Many doctors are not greedy at all and are upset for other reasons. Others are happy things are returning to focus on the patient. But the issue described above is significant enough to take notice of.