Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beware-Angry Rant

I stared at my desk incredulously, not a pen in sight.  In fact, I scoured the office up and down for minutes without luck.  Apparently, I wouldn't be able to write that all important script. One could conclude from this exercise that my office staff needs to better monitor our supply reserves.  Or, one could draw the conclusion that physicians are greedy, overpaid, untrustworthy scoundrels.

That's right, doctor's used to suck on the teet of big pharma by taking advantage of their logo bearing gifts of writing utensils.  Yet, some genius in the government decided that such influence was affecting prescribing patterns and unethical.  Unethical?

Wake up America!

Has anyone looked at the government lately.  How do you think congressman and presidential candidates stock their war chests.  Your telling me that pens are illegal yet lobbyists paying millions to our elected officials is OK.  It's not like it's changing their votes.  Ask John Edwards, what does he think all that money is being used for?  Do we really want these people defining our ethical norms?

Speaking of moral and ethical standards, how many physicians are getting million dollar bonuses for the holidays?  In fact, how many physicians are even making over a million dollars?  Maybe if we started to delve into derivatives and credit default swaps we would have a fighting chance.  But low and behold, investment bankers are still out there making a killing on misleading and bilking our community.  Even after the so called bailout the bonuses continue.  And were calling physicians unethical?

Maybe we should compare ourselves to the business tycoons that are keeping our nation strong.  Remember Enron?  Since when is outsourcing our jobs and offshoring their taxes good for our country?  No ethical problems there!

After all, physicians are a bunch of crooks.  We've heard of those rampant cardiologists who cath everything that moves.  Maybe even a few physicians have landed in jail.  Of course that never happens to politicians.  How many of them have ended up in jail in the last ten years for "minor" indiscretions.  I challenge you to find an ex governor from Illinois who hasn't spent time behind bars.

And then there are the lawyers.  Want to talk to a lawyer, take out your check book.  Want to hire a high profile attorney to handle your divorce or settle your law suit, take out a check book.  Win a large sum in a malpractice suit, don't forget to pay the pied piper first.  Physicians, on the other hand, get paid roughly the same fee no matter how experienced.  You want a doctors expert opinion?  Easy, make an appointment.  Spend as long as you like with them.  Consultations are affordable for just about everyone.

Physicians are the most highly trained, poorly paid professionals.  Who else answers phone calls in the middle of the night for free?  Who else suffers through a grueling apprenticeship, lasting years, and consuming almost every waking hour?  And who else stares down the triple barrel of death, disease, and litigation on a moment by moment basis?  Name one other profession where the likelihood of being sued for malpractice reaches almost 100 percent by the end of a career.

Any person who went into medicine for the money was a fool.  The impetus to joint this revered profession comes from the sincere hope to help society.  We have our bad apples.  But when taken as a whole, our moral and ethical accomplishments put most other professions to shame.

Stop making us the scapegoat!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Recently, I had a similar experience. Frantically searching my pockets, I soon realized my once endless supply of fat, sure-grip drug-rep pens had finally been exhausted. As I reached for one of the nurses thin, BIC round tip pens, not for one minute did I stop and think: "Wow, my prescribing practices are about to dramatically change!"

As your post alludes to, it's all such a farce. I wholeheartedly agree with your blog's sentiments. As a whole, we physicians are probably slightly book-smarter than your average joe, but we are woeful at "playing the game".

Speaking of games, this past NFL season my partner invited me to the local NFL game. He was a thirty year season ticket holder(same seats annually). I assumed he would know the folks sitting around him, yet he didn't know one person. I took a quick inventory of our seat neighbors. Every single person had been given the tickets by a "sales rep" or "vendor". I realize this is just a small example, but it illustrates the point. I'm not looking for drug-rep meals (they occupy one of my circles of hell), but let's inject some sanity into the conversation.

I grow weary reading about another insulated medical academician supporting the narrative you've outlined: Big Pharma unethically influencing us weak-minded front-line soldiers.

Stay in the Academy my friends, there you will remain safe.

Thanks for the blog. I just discovered it today and I will continue to follow along. As to your last paragraph, I couldn't agree more. As I say all the time to those young, bright, idealistic souls looking to become members of the tribe: "If you don't feel called to do this, don't join. You'll only be disappointed. If you feel called, the harvest is plenty and laborers are welcomed."