Friday, May 4, 2012

The House That Medicine Built

The medical system doesn't care about you. It cares for you. Of course if you go to the local hospital you might get treated to frilly curtains and a large screen TV. In reality, your nothing but another piece of meat. Pure, fine, grade A-but meat nonetheless. There's a vested interest in preserving your integrity en route to market. Yet no one escapes the system without being tussled, pushed, and manhandled to the point of bruising. Permanent damage, however, is strictly discouraged.

Occasionally a cut of meat gets uppity and fashions itself steak instead of ground beef. The medical system doesn't tolerate such hubris. Even VIP's are fashioned in gowns that fly open in the back. The rectal exam is ignorant of traditional class warfare. The indignity of disease lashes out against all comers.

We talk of modern health care as a living , breathing, sentient organism that expands and contracts intelligently. The truth is much more nuanced. Our medical system is a series of ill conceived systems that interact mindlessly and react intuitively. As processes collide, the bull headed survive.

Your visit to the hospital may be a nightmare. A ream of disjointed information will fly into your face at warp speed. Buried under a sea of nonsensical medical jargon, hurried staff will rush in and out of your room and pause impatiently when asked questions.

But this is the house that medicine built.

You want things to be better?

Incent time.

Cut governmental paperwork and red tape.

Destroy the nonsensical and time consuming coding and payment system.

Bring the joy back to practicing medicine.

That is all.

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