I wonder, sometimes, are physicians valued professionals, or merely problems to be solved? Are we skilled clinicians vital to the well-being of our patients? Or are we merely assetts to be managed? It occurs to me as I walk around hospitals these days, and see the overgrowth of people with clip-boards, people with undue authority over our lives and practices, people trained in business and management but untrained in either the science or art of medical practice.
I ask because I see the struggles of many good clinicians, who are beset by administrators (who are themselves beset by rules and threats from federal and state overseers as well as various groups like the Joint Commission). Granted, there will always be a few docs who need re-direction. But we should be doing it, instead of leaving it to those who really don’t understand. Ultimately, however, the things done in the name of corporate compliance or patient satisfaction or any of the dozens of other new catch-phrases are done in a manner that seems to see physicians as wayward children, or at the as worst felons just looking for a chance to commit their great crimes. We are often treated as if we are on some preemptive parole.
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