A message to administrators from physicians: Lead, follow, or get out of the way

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We represent the front lines in this ongoing crisis, and we are disheartened by not only the lack of support but overwhelming greed from just about all of you.

We have kept our mouths shut and practiced medicine, providing excellent patient care, while many of you became incredibly wealthy on the backs of our hard work. Many of you have not touched or cared for a patient in years; some of you have never in your life have provided direct patient contact. Yet somehow, patient care has made you millionaires and billionaires. Now is the time to stand up and shine.

We are thoroughly disappointed in how this crisis is being handled. There has been a distinct lack of foresight. Everything is happening reactively instead of proactively just to save a few dollars and make stock prices go up. These actions will lead to direct harm to patients and staff. Procuring personal protective equipment for medical personnel is admirable, but why did it take this crisis to recognize that no one was willing to be prepared since the costs would have lowered your bottom lines?

We are treating people with critical illnesses, and there is no reason we need the added stress of wondering if the mask to protect us is still working for its intended purpose after multiple uses. The staff is unprepared for this disaster. Our housekeepers and security officers are risking their lives without proper protective gear. We were the ones practicing medicine, and you assured us that you would take care of the rest.

People have been advised to stay home unless necessary. Of course, that means patient visits will decline since people are coming together in this crisis. Common sense tells us that this is the calm before the storm. Cutting back on hours for providers and nurses and ancillary staff is the epitome of shortsightedness. Again, showing how you are reactive instead of proactive.

Yes, the second-quarter earnings are going to not meet projections. Stockholders may be upset. Perhaps cutting back on exorbitant executive and administrative salaries like other business leaders is the answer. We can assure you that lowering wages and hours for medical personnel is the most ignorant and offensive thing that you can do at this time.

There’s an old adage that says, “lead, follow, or get out of the way.” We recognize that none of you have shown your ability to lead, so it’s time to do one of the other two.

The author is an anonymous physician.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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