Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Schroeder: Too Little Thought Given to Doctors

The October 30, 2009 Grand Junction Sentinel published the following OpEd by pediatric cardiologist, Dr. James Schroeder. His piece is entitled, "Too little thought given to doctors in proposals for health care reform".

Here's an excerpt:
...The persistence, dedication, hard work and personal sacrifice to get through four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, three to six years of residency training and perhaps two to five additional years of specialty or subspecialty training cannot and should not be underestimated. Add that up and you are talking almost two decades of training, long hours, tedious study, time away from family and plain hard work.

Financial compensation during these years is hardly lucrative. Truly caring physicians accept this role willingly and without complaint because there is an indescribable satisfaction in the actual delivery of care.

...Get the government out of my way and let me do what I do for my patients and I will do it well. Let the compensation equal the value of what I do. Get rid of the many layers of bureaucratic nonsense that lie between me and my patients. Get rid of government-mandated cost distortions.

Let me negotiate fees and payment schedules directly with my patients willingly, unapologetically and in good conscience. Let me be a physician, not a "health care provider." Trust me, there is a difference!

I love what I do, with a passion, but I will not do it indefinitely and will not do it without reasonable compensation.

It is absolutely immoral for the government to "mandate" that I provide my expertise to whomever bureaucrats choose because someone has determined the patients are "entitled" to it.
(Read the full text of "Too little thought given to doctors in proposals for health care reform".)

Dr. Schroeder is absolutely right. I'm heartened to see more physicians like him standing up for their moral right to practice on their own terms, rather than being slaves to the state.