Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday

We sat in the dining room, catching up on the week's events.  My colleague, ever insightful, turned to me and said, "Wes, as you know, I'm a regular reader of your blog but, dang, it sure has been depressing to read lately."

Looking back at the week and the topics discussed, I suppose he was right.  Everything I mentioned about "Today's Primary Care," the "Destructiveness of Measures,"  "Is the Electronic Medical Record Full of Lies?" and "The Challenges of Team Medicine" doesn't sound very cheery, I suppose. 

Sorry about that.

But someone has to tell these stories.  They are important.  As doctors who directly deliver health care to our patients, I believe that it is important to remind people that the Utopian vision for medical care that is being created is still not perfect despite how it's being sold to the public.  Admittedly, it wasn't perfect before either and it needed to be changed.  But as we move forward, all of us should appreciate that there are trade-offs in many of the so-called electronic and practice "efficiencies" and "requirements" that are being bestowed upon doctors today.  I worry that too often, online doctors are so concerned how they are perceived publically that few dare speak out when things are amiss.  In essence, the permanence of the online world paired with sounding too adversarial, coerces doctors to become forever politically correct.  We should not underestimate the problems for doctors as they progress professionally when they go against the grain.  We walk a very thin line.  My hope, of course, is that with real live discourse on this little blog, our central planners of our next New World of health care might stumble upon our thoughts and at least consider the unintended consequences of their actions and (who knows?) move to improve the status quo.  Doctors must be part of the solution after all.

So have a nice weekend.  Realize that I really do love my patients and my job.  Understand that I am sensitive to sounding too negative, but also know that I'm callin' 'em as I'm seein' 'em, and I'm definitely not making this stuff up.



worldwidestew said...

I subscribe to your blog. I read it as regular as clockwork. Right now, a primary focus of anyone involved in health care, even non-physicians like myself, is the impact of the ACA on our futures and practice. No one who reads you routinely could doubt your passion for patients and your desire to bring forward the best care possible. It's just been a heavy time for all of us who do want to be free to care for patients and ourselves.

Keith said...

There will be good and bad things that will generate from ACA and it is important that physicians stay engaged and vocal to point out what is not in the interest of improved health care for patients. Blogs liek yours serve an important role in this regard.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My patient was having an AMI at 2am Saturday night. He was answering my questions about his family history between gasps of pain as the nurses rushed around preparing him for the cath lab. The clock was ticking, of course. After all, knowing that his grandfather had an MI at age 65 is critical...for billing. Inferior tombstones met with questions about the type of pain, severity of pain, radiation of the pain, nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis... Face it Wes, we lost this battle years ago. You are just arguing over the scraps.

Anonymous said...


You have many admirers, including this one. Stay true, keep up the acute views. You are fighting battles with a growing voice, and many with a lesser one will thank you for it. Those who want cheerleading of the decline and dehumanization of our health care can go elsewhere: they will be forgotten.