As apparent as it may be to the predators of the medical profession, physicians themselves, thinking about the future of what the medical profession will be like by 2040, have yet to understand how they continue to be astonishingly complicit in the upcoming radical changes in health care and the medical profession.
You and I know that all physicians in our nation, especially those in clinical medical practice, have been brainwashed into believing that we …
1. Are not earning the necessary income commensurate with our workload, time, and money spent on our medical education, our decreasing elite status and value as documented by the fact that we have become “medical providers” instead of “doctors or physicians,” and the recognition disrupted by lack of doctor-patient rapport.
2. Have been overly susceptible to the techniques used to bypass the conscious mind we so much rely on to reach our expectations. You know the most influential dogma that we absorbed without one objection: “We can always practice medicine without a business education.” But they ignored the rest of the sentence: “… if you can tolerate living on the low end of the middle class and think that is all you deserve.”
In case you want to know what that has to do with participating in the destruction of health care and the medical profession, let me tell you:
If medical school education continues to refuse to take responsibility for offering or providing a business education for all medical students, all physicians will practice medicine without ever knowing how to manage their business and are business ignorant.
If physicians remain business ignorant several things will happen:
- Many will lose their medical practices for financial reasons.
- Many will be forced into employed positions.
- Large numbers of American students are not applying to medical school.
- Burnout, disappointment with medical careers, and anger will increase continually.
- Medical school recruiting will worsen.
- Increasing fee restrictions and practice mandates will lead to income drops.
- Private medical practice will disappear rapidly.
The lack of protest against medical schools allows all these egregious factors to continue. You don’t complain, protest in some fashion, or let the leaders know how you think — it will all continue and worsen for you. How many letters and complaints about these issues does it take to force the AAMC committee to enforce a business curriculum?
The AMA has been capitulating for decades. It’s like all supporting groups have been shut down, and we have no true allies. It probably is our fault.
However, the total control of health care and the medical profession itself is at stake for all of us. It’s quite possible that the years of government support of medical schools and the scholars/leaders have reached a point when they just can’t say no to government control.
My view of where the medical profession is headed is not pretty.
Perhaps you might want to imagine what will happen to all of us physicians, after our government is able to wipe out private medical practice. That provides the final perfect glitch in the armor that our government needs to adopt socialized medicine.
When all that happens, our government will control the medical education system and the medical profession itself.
Have you mentally prepared for that situation? I doubt it.
I believe these things will come about:
1. Total control of medical school recruiting. It will involve control over who will get into medical school and likely will shift to the wealthy who can afford it.
2. You will be assigned to a medical school, not of your choice.
3. Medical students will be assigned to a specialty area according to what is lacking in our national health care at the time — no choice.
4. Graduating medical students will be sent to specific residencies they have been assigned to wherever there is an opening — no choices.
5. After residency, you will be assigned to the area of the nation where your training will be most useful — no choice.
6. Like the HMOs, you will be told how to practice and even what you are trained to do that you are not permitted to practice — like Kaiser Permanente did to me when I wanted to do infertility work as an OB/GYN, which resulted in leaving employment for private medical practice.
You are involved with the destruction of health care and the medical profession.
When you discover a major problem with medical school education — lack of a business education — and you never take a stand for the value of that, you are involved whether you are for or against it.
When you recognize the signs and symptoms of a degeneration of the quality of health care in our nation and make no significant effort to improve health care, you are involved.
When you become aware of the increasingly disturbing medical practice mandates and fee restrictions placed on private practitioners, including the widespread expansion of physician’s being driven out of practice for financial reasons, you are involved.
When you are riding high on increased income from your specialty and you, whether employed or in private medical practice, back away from your less fortunate peers, you are directly involved.
So, I must ask you, Are you out for all you can get from our profession and your peers with no regard for the serious problems we all see happening today in our profession? Are we a team that needs to work together on eliminating these egregious issues or not? Do you care what is happening to other physicians who have been intentionally prevented from learning the business and marketing tools that stand as a required core for the success of every business in the world today — yet we have been shut out of that essential success ingredient? Why is that?
Curtis G. Graham is a physician.