Compassion

15242E91-62F2-4421-AA79-93966A4D37D9“Jesus wept.”
‭‭John‬ ‭11:35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Compassion

As a physician, I have to keep some objectivity in order to make good medical decisions. That fact became perfectly clear to me when I had the honor of delivering my oldest daughter, http://www.sincerelysarahstudios.com . Even after delivering hundreds of babies prior to her, I needed a nudge from the obstetrician to clamp and cut the tight nuchal cord. In the past few years, we physicians have been under attack for lacking compassion. While not every physician has the same level of compassion, dedicating so much time, money and effort to becoming a caregiving physician shows inherent compassion, I believe. The healthcare system has failed physicians, just as it has failed patients. The bureaucracy and greed surrounding healthcare has become apparent in the pandemic; and hopefully, we will learn from this disaster to put physicians back in charge of healthcare.

Good Outcome

B0DD8F3A-81C6-4B59-A69F-C638D0B9CF69“”Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Clearly there will be some good that results from this pandemic. Social media abounds with all sorts of religious implications; and, while I believe that God cannot be pleased with our world’s behavior, I know that He is indeed in control and will use this time, as always, for good. Families are spending more time together, the simple pleasures are being appreciated, and the realization that we are not in control is understood. Our society is focusing on the essentials and realizing that our healthcare system has become a political pawn. The true heroes are being recognized and life is being valued. There will be many lives lost, many that could have been saved by earlier heeding of the warnings; but, sometimes our own weaknesses prevent us from making the best choices. We can only hope that we learn from this pandemic and change our behavior.

Fun

DB4D6A00-D38C-4FE0-8EAD-CB2283C2423F“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Fun
As a physician, I am disappointed that our profession has become a victim of bureaucracy, over regulation and political correctness. When I began my medical career, the hours were extremely long and the medical care as inherently stressful as ever; but, we were allowed to take care of patients in an efficient manner, and, at the same time, we could have a fun work environment. Now, every step along the way, we are confronted with stifling rules and regulations, denials and complaints and roadblocks and harassment. The fun has been “outlawed”. I believe we have to turn our healthcare system around in a way that makes it desirably fun. To have great healthcare, we need joyful caregivers.

Healthcare Bleeding

1F70F747-DA52-4AFB-9771-F7F334C8B928Healthcare Bleeding

Our healthcare system is truly in a crisis. Most people in the field or using the services clearly see how broken it has become. In effect, the system is “bleeding” money away from patient care and into a vast bureaucracy. A recent study shows that the biggest cost increases have come from insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and administrations. Physicians, although commonly blamed, do not substantially contribute to the rise in costs directly. Having been in the field since 1981, I am appalled at the attack on physicians from multiple fronts, mainly legal through continued legislation that only adds to costs and derails patient care. We have become hired “guns” and they are looking for cheaper ones; hence, a flooding of poorly trained, mass produced physicians and mid level providers will assume the reigns of seasoned physicians who are leaving the field prematurely, during their peak productive years. I don’t see an easy answer, but am open to suggestions.

Healthcare Reform

DD1D526C-043A-452C-9493-AE7E8CDF2B08Healthcare Reform

Today I read an article about how the high cost of our healthcare relative to other countries primarily results from the higher cost of pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and administrations. Certainly I feel validated in my long-standing beliefs. But the complexities of our system, considering the expectations and entitlements coupled with liability fears, make solutions seemingly impossible. Earlier this week, one patient who was prominent in the community, expected special treatment because of his social status. Another patient who is totally noncompliant with medical advice expected special treatment because of his sense of entitlement. Adding to the problem, the medical system has prioritized patient satisfaction over quality and allows patients to make poor decisions with little resistance from the physician because of the fear of low patient satisfaction survey scores, which adversely affect reimbursement. Many of us physicians with great ideas are squelched because we represent good patient care over this bureaucracy; and, in case there is any question, WE are not in charge anymore.

Naivety

F4615B3D-4497-476B-8BD7-8DFC6A2A475FNaivety

Naivety is having or showing a lack of experience or understanding. This definition of the word came to mind as I read my medical “news” today. Medicare is preparing to “improve patient care” by implementing a new reimbursement plan that will cut their payments for healthcare providers. Sadly enough, most people won’t question such a “noble cause.” Perhaps we can improve other entities using this same philosophy. I suggest we start with the federal government and cut their salaries to improve their work—how can they argue with their own rationale?? Sorry, I am being naive.

Scientific Evidence

8C2B1DB7-D895-41B8-8DC6-3CAE20AB66CBScientific Evidence

Having been in healthcare since 1981, I have witnessed some amazing changes as to what qualifies as scientific evidence. Our media is flooded with claims, supported by various “studies”, about all sorts of things. Often the studies are not statistically significant, but reported with “authority”. Unfortunately even our “best” medical ones are often fraught with bias and deception. I believe healthcare needs reform starting with pre-medical training with a commitment to excellent patient care. It seems to me our broken healthcare system cannot be fixed without starting at the foundation and rebuilding, actually training a new generation of critically astute physicians less biased by money and special interests.