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.