I have noticed a profound lack of self-esteem in our profession. I am concerned. Concerned for us, and for our patients.
We are the most noble of professions. However, we have compromised our morals, values, ethics, and virtues. We are now living, operating, and existing in a constant state of contradiction. It is tearing us apart from within.
We continue to work for less, with fewer resources and ancillary staff, all while the demands and expectations of our practice are increasing at the same rate the self-appointed medical administrators are.
Simply look at the most recent data on suicides in our profession and the ever-increasing rate of burnout. Study after study, report after report, all signs showing something pathological in our profession.
All we hear is constant lip service: “Something must be done.” Sitting around conference tables all across the country, we hear the same question being asked, “What should we do”? With the same consensus and end result, “We demand someone do something!”
Who is running the show? Last I checked, We are the medical professionals seeing patients, not the administrators or the policymakers. Alas, we gave up the reins long ago when we allowed government — correction — when we consented to government intervention into health care. Now we volitionally do as we are told and are unable to exercise our independent judgment and reason when practicing medicine.
The way we practice medicine now is dictated to either keeps costs down or prevent malpractice suits. More common than not, its a combination of the two. So who are we really serving? The administrators attempting to lower the bottom line, the malpractice attorneys who prey on our every mistake or our patients?
When did word get out that we are omniscient beings? I can barely help my teenager with their algebra homework at times, and they expect, correction, demand omniscience?
This is a predicted outcome of our future. I’ll spare you the history lesson. However, if you are interested in a brief overview, I refer you to Leonard Peikoff’s speech at the Ford Hall Forum, 1985, entitled “Medicine: The Death of a Profession.”
Our self-esteem has suffered immensely due to a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, it’s because we are not perfect. There is no objective standard for perfection, especially since science and medicine are ever-evolving. However, we continue to demand it from ourselves, and now everyone else does too.
Please stop working for free. Please stop selling your selves short. Your patients deserve better, your families deserve better, and most importantly, you deserve better. Stop doubting your self-worth. You are better than the looters who have mortgaged your lives for a government subsidy.
I encourage you to challenge your premises. More importantly, I encourage you to learn about the philosophic principles which have been weaponized against us. The enemy is altruism, statism, and collectivism. They have succeeded due to our volitional sanction of their premises. Too often, we say, “Just let me practice medicine,” but little did we know that was all they needed to enslave us.
The solution is simple. Your happiness is the only moral principle of your life. Productivity is the noblest activity, and reason is the only absolute. Stop assuming unearned guilt, stop assuming the role of the sacrificial victim. You owe it to yourself to be the best version of you. Not this burned out, jaded, shell of a former self, making daily compromises and living in perpetual contradiction.
Vincent M. Proctor is a physician assistant.
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