One of the blogs last week garnered much attention with many comments. The following comment was one of many that I felt was worth sharing with you are in response to a blog last week entitled “Has Medicine Sunk This Low”.
The interesting aspect of the comments is that everyone is in agreement. No one said that the situation described in the blog is exaggerated or untrue. Rather, they are commiserating that medicine has indeed “sunk this low”.
Eric Shore, DO, JD, MBA • Let’s be honest. While the difficulties you experienced were symptomatic of the pathology that is afflicting health care as a whole today, and without discussing the etiology of this “syndrome,” the real issue here is with your doctor (I hesitate to call anyone who behaves like that a “physician”). I practiced Internal Medicine for more than 26 years, and never told a patient in my office to “go the the ER” without seeing them, talking with them, and having a good reason. In fact, when I began my practice, no one said, “go to the ER” before, at least, 10PM. Rather, we would say, “I’ll meet you at the ER.” I even remember a time when physicians gave each other “professional courtesy.” I guess that makes me REALLY old.
Our current situation began with the advent of HMOs, and has continued to exacerbate to this time. Doctors were first forced to practice “Financial Medicine,” then each became a “gatekeeper,” and now, we have finally reached the point where many doctors have an “us vs them” attitude toward their patients. Too many physicians see their role today defined by the insurance industry, not medical journals or their oath. Too many doctors today forget, when they treat their patients as you were treated, that they are (or will eventually be) patients also. Is that the way they want to be treated? I think not.
We, as physicians, have the power to change things, but it must begin with ourselves; how we behave toward our patients and each other. It must then be followed by saying “No” to the insurance industry when they demand poor quality in return for larger profits. Until these things happen, Medicine can never be practiced as it should be in this country, and none of us (physicians included) will get the health care we need and deserve.