Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to the Private World of One Family Doctor

    The practice of medicine is being corporatized at an astonishing rate.  (It is being mega-corporatized.)  This is a terrible loss for the individual, that is, for individual patients, individual doctors, and for all of us as--not consumers! but--human beings.
     I have started this blog as a way of exploring the problems facing the American medical doctor.  These are the same problems that patients must inevitably feel, though their experience is filtered through their doctor's deliberate censorship of his or her frustrations as well as through the mostly incomprehensible reports by the media on the "healthcare crisis" and various renditions of the unsuccinct and apparently unreadable (who among us has read it?) "healthcare plan."
     But I also wish to say a long farewell to the era of the solo doctor.  I do this unwillingly.  As a solo family doctor I am going--let's be honest, I'm being forced out of my chosen career (a calling I believe is indispensable for the well-being of society)--I am going, I suppose, but I am kicking and screaming all the way out.
     My personal experience is really all I have to tell, at least first-hand.  I would like to convey some of the unforgettable experiences in my own medical practice.  I will explain what medical training was like and how, from a distance of 23 years, I can see how I was "made" into a doctor, how the peculiarities of medical training altered my personality, and how the harshness of this training prepared me for the difficulties of patient care, and failed me when it came to the politics and business of medicine.  Unfortunately, these days medicine seems to be more about politics, big business, and non-human entities--grabbing control of whatever revenues might be due physicians for their careful time and thought in private exam rooms with patients, one by one--than it is about healing people.
     What does "healing people" even mean?  I will tell you what my experience as a doctor has taught me about this as this blog evolves.

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