October 1, 2009–Take back our profession.

Home Forums Women Physicians October 1, 2009–Take back our profession.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #36519
    AnnaMAnnaM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    Reposted from Sermo, with permission from the author:

    Million Med March

    I’m tired, mad as hell and just not going to take it anymore.

    I’m tired that I cannot practice medicine the way medicine is meant to be practiced: with care, quality and timeliness. Economically I feel handicapped as most of the health care dollar goes for administrative costs to health insurance companies, and a large part going to the salaries and bonuses of the executives of these companies, money meant for patient care. It disgusts me that so much money goes to pay medical malpractice premiums and tails, and that our livelihoods are at risks as attorneys consider us lottery tickets, using their clients as entry fees. It bothers me that pharmaceutical companies now look for diseases on which to use their patented chemicals, rather than looking to improve patient care with lower cost, but equally effective medications.

    Little of the health care dollar even goes pharmacies and hospitals, much less to physicians. Now the current administration wants to decrease payments to these three, in order to ‘save’ the health care system. We already have enough capable people leaving our profession, or declining the arduous journey to become an American trained physician; not to mention the huge number of physician who discourage their own children from following in their footsteps. How sad when we don’t want our own progeny to follow us all because we are treated like thieves, or worse, as children who cannot govern ourselves. And don’t get me started on the AMA or the specialty colleges, who rarely stand up for the regular, non-ivory tower doctors that roll up their sleeves and care for patients on a daily, fee-for-service basis. The attitude in our county towards physicians does nothing but create a loss of quality, well trained, American-trained physicians.

    Doctors get far less of the healthcare dollar than do pharmacies or hospitals, yet without us they would be out of a job. What is the joke: hospitals would be great places to work if it wasn’t for all those doctors? There are around 1 million doctors in the country, yet there are over 25 million people in the health care industry. Each physician supports about 25 people… few actually treat or care (for) about patients. Once we actually get reimbursed, we have our medical school loans and ever rising business costs to pay for with our ever decreasing dollars.

    Our patients suffer as physician must see more patients every year just to make the same amount (or often less) money than last year; physician burnout is a well documented and a worrisome trend in our profession. This affects our ability to treat patients properly. Then, adding the paperwork and increased regulations put upon us by the state and federal governments, we have even less time to treat patients, read journals, go to seminars or get sleep. Quality of care suffers.

    On top of everything else we need to deal with malignant hospital administrators and medical staff members or nursing staff members who can, just for untoward facial grimaces, suspend us and report us to the National Practitioner Data Bank, thus irrevocably ruining our careers, well before any investigation or fair hearing needs to be called. We worked our butts off to get top grades in college, to get into medical school, then residency programs where we often worked 80, 100 or even 120 hours a week, for what? So we could give up nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and even miss the birth of our children to practice that vocation to which we were drawn. And how are we treated? We are considered the most vile criminals, cheats and depraved practitioners with no sense of integrity or consciousness, only out to harm those we have struggled so long to serve. If we are so bad, so vile and so depraved, shouldn’t we let our patients get treated by witch doctors with voodoo medicine. But of course, that is already being practiced in US hospital.

    I really don’t need to feel guilty that the profession I have chosen also puts food on my table, clothes my wife and kids, and allows my children to get a college education (not premed of course.) Yet what am I to do when 25% to 50% of my procedures, which are ‘authorized’ by insurance companies, are not reimbursed because, although authorized, they are now determined to be uncovered benefits. Sometime we have to sell vitamins and other services to make up for the loss of payments.

    Quality of care suffers with less time to see patients and less reimbursement received when we do see patients. We cannot do pro bono work as we have in the past as we have to see an ever increasing number of patients. This extra work is forced upon us when insurance companies, especially Medicare and Medicaid, constantly refuse to pay us in a timely fashion for our time and efforts. And, then once we do see patients our clinical acumen is stifled as we must follow a cookbook approach to patient care.

    When healthcare insurance companies siphon money away from patient care and into the hands of the their executives, to support a life style that demands sometimes more than $30 million/year, this decreases money to medical schools for training and research that might create advances in medical care that actually benefit patients. Insurance companies have no incentive to provide better care if it in turn might make patients live longer. Medicine is going corporate, and we, physicians are just flipping burgers so corporations have an improved bottom line.

    It is time that we stand up for ourselves. Our founding fathers gave up their lives to fight for their liberty and freedom, so that we, their progeny could live in the land of the free and home of the brave. But we are passively giving up our noble lives as physicians, without the liberty to practice as we know we could, and without the freedom to stop the government and the insurance companies from turning us in to hourly workers rather than the true professionals we believe we are and forever should be.

    I am going Washington DC. At noon, on Thursday, October 1 2009. I will be on the mall with a few other physicians. We simply decided that we will not work that day and perhaps the day before and maybe even the day afterward. We are not ‘organizing’ anything other than a vacation from the stress of work, so we can enjoy our nation’s capital and perhaps even say hello to our congressmen or members of the administration. Perhaps we will show the country that physicians are worth more than a $5 co-pay; that physicians are more important than a mid-level healthcare worker; and that our profession is needed, our services are required and our practice is a calling to be respected, not a trade that is to be negotiated to the lowest bidder.

    I want our services adequately reimbursed so that we may spend more time with our patients, and I want less paperwork. I want less money going into the hands of insurance companies administration costs, less money going into the hands of pharmacy companies for the development of drugs that are either unsafe or targeted for ‘diseases’ they seem to invent. I want brand named drugs that are as affordable in the US as in Canada or Mexico. I want medical malpractice reform, with caps on all damages, so that we can practice without the fear of needless and unwarranted lawsuits that only benefit the attorneys. I want the National Practitioner Data Bank reformed so entries are made AFTER all administrative remedies have been executed, so due process is given to all physicians and that all entries are reviewed by an independent board of physicians without any ties to the accusing hospital, nor state or local medical societies, prior to submission. And I want compensation for services that pay us enough to allow us to continue formal and informal continuing education, and that pays us enough to manage our practices and allow us a living that compensates us for our years of study and training.

    And, most of all, I want you to join me for a vacation in Washington, DC. I want us to get together, informally, so we can share experiences with each other. I am inviting you to come there for a vacation. I want you to invite 10 of your physician colleagues and let them know that you are going to be in Washington DC on October 1 2009, and invite them to come themselves. I want you to tell them to invite 10 more their physician colleagues to join them, and so on.

    I have purchased my flight to Washington, DC. I have informed my patients that I will not be available to care for them the week of October 1, 2009, and suggest that they make alternative arrangements for care. Perhaps they can find a good mid-level healthcare practitioner to take care of their traumas, emergencies or deliveries.

    Perhaps we can actually have a ‘million med march’ however spontaneously it may be. See you in DC.

    We do have a facebook page: Million Med March I hope you will register as a friend

    Richard Chudacoff, MD, FACOG

    Las Vegas International Center for Advanced Gynecologic Care

    (Specializing in minimally and non-invasive surgery)

    TEL: 702-485-8893

    FAX: 702-629-4628

    rchudacoff@lasvegasgyncent…

    http://www.lasvegasgyncenter.com

    #36520
    HAMHAM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    Wow. That is going to all my friends from med school. Hopefully it will spread.

    #36521
    AnnaMAnnaM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    People are already posting it in doctors’ lounges across the country.

    #36522
    sahmdsahmd
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    Awesome!!!

    #36523
    EE
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    I think this is great. Who’s going?

    #36524
    HAMHAM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    You know, if it can be considered educational activity and I can be excused from internship, I’d be glad to go. Perhaps my program will send delegates? 😉

    #36525
    efex101efex101
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    wow, wish I could go.

    #36526
    kpzr /9145kpzr/9145
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    yes, the author is right. Good luck bucking the powerful health insurance lobby though. This is the reason true health care reform will not occur. Senator Baucus, who is heading up the dominant health care reform legislation in the Senate, is handsomely paid by the insurance industry. And Democrats have never supported tort reform. Just about everyone, patients and doctors alike, agree that the system is top heavy now. Not sure what it will take to change it. Obama’s idea of having a Public insurance option seemed like a good one, to kind of compete with the insurers, but it seems that may be taken off the table now.
    Unfortunately, physicians are pretty well without power in the current system. it will be a challenge to find reform that really works. I just don’t see how it can occur without TRULY revamping the way health care is paid for. Like taking the insurance companies out of the loop altogether. Or, maybe heavily regulating them. Just think how much care could be provided with all those bloated salaries and bonuses! But it is clear now that this will not occur. Money talks in Washington. And the money coming from the Insurance Industry lobby is very persuasive to those who have the power to actually change things.

    #36527
    DocMDocM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    Well said KPZR. While I haven’t given up hope entirely, I think true reform will not happen until the lobbying system is done away with and corporations, whether in the insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry, oil/gas, tobacco, can no longer essentially buy legislation that favors their interests. It is sad that in order to have a voice at table, you must be able to buy a seat. Until that aspect of our political culture is reformed, nothing else will be.

    #36528
    ENT06ENT06
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    I agree completely with the Oct 1 vacation. We do have power. We are in demand, but we have allowed ourselved to be devalued. We have been in competition with one another so long that as a group we don’t know how to band together and fight for want we believe. I am a good doctor with a lot of patients who are very appreciative of what I do for them, however, they see it as my job to protect their health care. My job is to be a good doctor and take care of my family and my patients. Mill worker and teachers have more power than doctors do because we don’t stand together. If all doctors went to cash pay immediately, their would be no problem. The insurance companies are allowed to control us because we let them. If all doctors stopped taking insurance, patients would scream for reform. But it is mainly hurting us and we are not screaming. I am glad to have an opportunity to take a vacation and scream a little.

    #36529
    AnnaMAnnaM
    Participant

    Deprecated: wp_make_content_images_responsive is deprecated since version 5.5.0! Use wp_filter_content_tags() instead. in /home/s267/html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4777

    Looking forward to meeting everyone who shows up for this.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.