Thanks to www.jdunderground.com and the suggestion of others in the medical community, I have been inspired to start the medical version- www.qfora.com/mdunderground/ . Since medicine is going to hell in a handbasket, I strongly feel we need a forum of our own. The starting of this forum is even more imperative since SDN (Student Doctor Network) has been undergoing a recent Chinese crackdown where more vocal members have been threatened and outright banned for speaking the truth on the harsh realities of pursuing a career in medicine. Numerous threads have also been moved, locked, and outright shut down. I welcome you to the break away republic of mdunderground where the truth shall finally prevail over censorship. Please please please contribute to ensure it’s success so we can get it off the ground! Registering takes two seconds and you can be posting right away.
Thanks to www.tiphero.com, I learned of a website where you can watch some of your favorite documentaries for free at freedocumentaries.org. Much to my pleasant surprise, Michael Moore’s Sicko was one of the featured films on the front page. Being that I never got the chance to watch Sicko and had a dreary Sunday afternoon to kill some time, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to view this film. Let’s just say that all my feelings of angst regarding our broken healthcare system have been reaffirmed.
The gripping stories of typical Americans are real and their wrenching testimonies can not be discounted. Juxtaposing our system to those of Canada, the UK, France, and gasp …Cuba, only accentuates the needless absurdity that ours has become. Only in America would a for profit model like this be ever be introduced in the first place. The HMO’s are no different from the big banks in this country who have bought out Congress to further their own domination. They are an unnecessary parasite who have siphoned off billions of healthcare dollars that should’ve gone to the sick. Think of the number of cancer treatments, organ transplants, or preventive healthcare checkups that could be payed for by just one HMO CEO’s salary? Before this whole health reform got underway, I could’ve told you that not in a million years would we have one govt run system. Seriously, what would happen to the HMO’s? Did we honestly think that they would just disappear overnight without a fight? Instead, they are fighting tooth over nail to rid the govt option which is on it’s death bed right now.
There are many doctors who despise Obama’s quest to reform healthcare. They feel that their salaries will plunge only further. Medicare and medicaid is run by government and their reimbursements are ABYSMAL. I fully understand this opposition. Some also don’t trust our government since they have a history of bungling everything up. One only need to be reminded of the Katrina disaster to see this. So what is the solution??? Since American medicine has turned into one really bad game of Jenga, I believe that the whole system needs to be bulldozed and restarted from the ground up. Medical school tuitions need to be reset to zero and those with current student loan balances should have them forgiven. HMO’s would be rid off the face of the earth for eternity. Salaries should be set at a level appropriate and commensurate for the level of training required to become a doctor (meaning NO medicare pittance rates). Tort reform would be mandated. 99 year olds would be allowed to die with dignity instead of languishing in ICU’s at 10K a day because daughter Sally demands it. Taxes would obviously have to be raised (sorry millionaires, but you will just have to cut back a mansion or two so your fellow human beings can access the healthcare system) but this would benefit the country many times over. Unfortunately, “healthcare reform” has turned into a ridiculous folly and is only spiraling further out of control into an ever worsening bureaucratic mess.
There is no excuse for the wealthiest country on the planet to not be able to provide healthcare to it’s own citizens. I am embarassed as an American and a physician to live in a country where greed trumps generosity like this. There is a heated debate whether having access to healthcare is a basic human right. I don’t get this. It is simply the RIGHT thing as a society to do.
“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up and goes to bed and does everything he wants to in between” -Bob Dylan
How do you measure success? By the amount of money in your bank account? the town you live in? the type of car you drive? the schools you attended? the places you’ve been? the title of your job? I would say no unequivocally to all of the above. Here’s a story of one person that I crossed paths with in my life that illustrates why.
Dr. Slaughter was a highly “successful” orthopedic surgeon on staff. He would crank through patients in the OR as if it was some Michigan automotive factory back in it’s heydey. Time was money and money consumed his life more than he could ever bargain for. He thought very highly of himself for training at one of the premier surgery residency programs in the country (which he “name dropped” whenever the opportunity would (forcibly) arise) and made it well known that he lived in a million dollar house in a gated community. He also had two children and was already on trophy wife number two.
However, Dr. Slaughter was a miserable pathetic man. He would yell at the nurses, curse out his residents, belittle the medical students, and always be complaining to the administration about something. He was an absolute nightmare to work with on so many levels. He was also having an affair with one of the scrub nurses which was widely known. His wife would call him on his cell phone and the conversations were always heated. His one son was in and out of drug rehab while the other was reportedly doing very well in prep school but their relationship was distant and strained.
I just wanted to take a moment and personally thank Dr. Slaughter. If you ever happen to come across this post, thank you for being such an asshole and showing me everything NOT to do in my life. Thank you for proving that money truly does not bring happiness and success. Thank you for making me better realize that the quest for money and success can rob you blind of your soul and divert your attention from what REALLY matters in this world. Thank you Dr. Slaughter for giving my life more meaning.
I will end with the following poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson that I read in the eighth grade. Though I would not classify Dr. Slaughter as “a gentleman from sole to crown”, I still think it is most befitting on how success can only be measured from within.
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine — we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.
-Edwin Arlington Robinson
Pain Medicine Anyone?
Medicinesux, of all the specialties in medicine which one do you dislike the most? PAIN MEDICINE – Hands down by a mile…..actually, make that a lightyear! Could you even imagine medicinesux in the above scenario??? I would’ve spontaneously combusted before she rattled off her third allergy. (video made by youtuber “crickethk”)