The annual suicide rate of physicians over the past few decades has amounted to about 400 highly trained and competent American physicians per year and is now increasing. That wipes out about one large medical school four-year class each year in our nation.
Our medical school education system has for the last century rejected and intentionally prevented offering an academic business education to all medical students, which has unfortunately become a factor in preventing physicians’ suicide later in their medical practice careers.
In fact, that single medical education factor is a major cause of medical professional suicides, especially when their medical practice incomes are dropping, and physicians have no knowledge about resolving that problem. The medical profession literature has never revealed that issue as being of concern. Medical school education scholars insist that medical school faculties must not mention that direct connection to students. The truth is obvious but intentionally camouflaged.
We are left to believe that nearly every physician in clinical private medical practice today, who is fed up with excessive barriers and disruptions of their private practice businesses, has no known or proven cause. Even worse, our medical school scholars accept absolutely no responsibility for potentially causing all of those abuses that practicing physicians deal with daily and are increasing remarkably. When was the first time you heard about burnout?
Think about the tsunami of physicians who are quitting medical practice and academic positions and seeking jobs outside of medical practice. Why isn’t anyone keeping records of those numbers? Why would any physician even consider searching for those things, if they were satisfied with their practices? Why are American males refusing to apply to medical schools anymore?
When good physicians finally recognize what superficially is causing their disappointment and eventual loss of their private medical practice for lack of enough income to keep their practice open, the guilt of failure in their chosen profession can easily push them over the edge.
It can be argued that every medical student entering private medical practice has already been predestined to fail to some financial degree in their private practice, without ever recognizing that they have no knowledge of how to prevent it when it happens. Their only backup solution is the business education they are prevented from obtaining while in medical school.
Are there any physicians in independent medical practice today that are willing to stop their medical practice for two years, spend up to $50,000 additionally for an MBA degree that is of minimal value and effectiveness, find money to maintain their living situation during that education, and may often financially fail anyway? The answer is “none”. After medical school, it is rare to find physicians who will sacrifice that much money and time away from their income-earning practice.
Are there any valid statistics being kept on how many physicians fail in medical practice for financial reasons? I haven’t found any. First, the medical education industry doesn’t want this egregious information published because it would reflect their failure to provide a business education.
Second, it is highly likely that approximately 14 to 15 percent of physicians who move their practices elsewhere annually are those who move elsewhere because of their inability to earn enough income to stay in practice and are lost to any statistics. Of course, those physicians will never confess that their move is because of the lack of income—always some other more acceptable and professional reasons.
Consequences tell the real story.
Physicians have found no solutions to their increasing struggles, no easing of the abuse they feel, and no understanding of how much deceit their medical schools subjected them to regarding the complete lack of business education. These physicians also suffer from their own guilt feelings, divorce, depression, and finding no way out to remain in medical practice. Is that enough to end it all? Sometimes.
I raise no toast to the few medical schools that will take another ten years to begin to offer business education to medical students because the other business worlds surrounding us already have learned how all businesses became successful—business management knowledge and use of marketing strategies. Business experts tried to tell us this years ago, but we didn’t listen, and they now avoid physicians, medical school education, and all the ignorant medical school scholars.
All of this has been well-known outside of the medical profession for decades.
The core cause is that physicians have been left with no backup to rely on for their professional medical practice business success. Small commercial businesses have been failing about 95 percent of the time for a lack of business knowledge. How is it that medical education scholars don’t like to be reminded of that issue? They know it is true and yet refuse to change or improve anything to make physicians’ lives easier. Wise physicians know that and do nothing about it.
The quality of physicians and medical care is rapidly decreasing. We all see the evidence of that consequence. Medical schools are reducing restrictions on acceptance. Medical school recruiting is increasingly difficult.
Medical literature has begun a surge to persuade abused and fed-up physicians that they should seek outside jobs to supplement or replace medical practice—rather than take the far more intelligent approach to the provision of business education that enables physicians to remain in their profession and eliminate most of the factors that are holding physician’s hostage.
The awaiting consequence of all this is total government control of health care and the medical profession.
When physicians look closely at their multiple problems to seek a solution, it all comes back to not having enough income—in one way or another. The purpose of a business is to make money/profits—nothing else. When it doesn’t, you either lose the business or seek a business education. The fault also takes us back to the other co-conspirators.
If you had been instructed in your college pre-med program of the remarkable benefits of business education to all physicians in private medical practice business, would you have done some preparation, diligence, and research on the topic?
I doubt that ever happens. Why don’t medical schools make a business education a requirement for medical school applications? Or promise it in medical school.
If you had been told as soon as you entered medical school that you must have a business education, would you have taken it if offered or provided? If they told you all the benefits that it added to medical practice—probably yes. Medical schools never tell medical students anything about that.
The rightful conclusion is that medical educators want you to remain financially dumb for some reason. It should anger you. It should anger you while in your practice when suddenly you discover your income is dropping month after month. And you have no real solution to that problem—except one. We all know that seeing more patients improves income. The question is how to do that. —marketing.
With a business education, you have the backup knowledge to resolve those issues anytime. And the beauty of it is that you can earn as much income as you want or need whenever you desire. That’s when you see your medical practice grow, profits increase, and most problems become of minimal concern. That outcome happens to physicians with backup business knowledge and skills. There are rare exceptions, such as family wealth who can afford business education.
Curtis G. Graham is a physician.