Frustrated Doctors

We all know that the medical profession is filled with many frustrating intricacies for both the patient and doctor; however, after reading a New York Times article regarding the issue, I was blown away by some statistics and testimonials. “Hard work” is a phrase routinely used in conversation when describing arduous tasks or professions, but I really feel bad for both the current and aspiring physicians out there who are regularly faced with ridiculous non-clinical tasks.

As many of you know, I plan on becoming a licensed physician within the next five years, so this topic is something I have to be aware of. Afterall, unless something drastic happens in the American healthcare system (slim chance), I’ll be facing the same issues outlined in the article. Going back to the “hard work” phrase, I’ll admit that most jobs have some annoying components which professionals have to fulfill by principle, not choice. By the same token, there are many individuals who acknowledge the education of a medical doctor to be the most demanding and rigorous of all. It therefore baffles me when I start considering the frustrations doctors must deal with.

After a decade of basic education and specialized training, why do they still get questioned by a minimum-wage desk clerk when they request an MRI for their patient? True, the paper work has to be filled out and everything, but streamlining the process would be so much better for both processes. We live in an era dominated by technology, yet many of our physicians literally have to deal with disorganized folders upon folders of paperwork. While fragile economy is becoming more susceptible to recession-related consequences (inflation, unemployment, etc.), why do lawmakers turn to programs like Medicare to make significant cuts? A 10.6% cut in Medicare payments to physicians is terrible! Yes, physicians tend to make more money than other professions; however, the expenditures are also significantly higher. Many doctors are only accepting patients who pay out-of-pocket and refusing those with Medicare alltogether. Some may consider this cruel, but then again, these are the same people who think that doctors who don’t perform free surgeries are cruel too. Medical – treatment – costs – money… for both the patient and doctor.

It’s just amazing how discouraged doctors are becoming about their profession. In a job which is truly universal, as everyone is in need of healthcare, when are lawmakers going to facilitate the monster which has become US healthcare? Physicians should have to worry very little about non-medical agendas as their job entails far more than menial paperwork. They should be receiving far more attention from the people who are making their lives miserable – our friends on Capitol Hill. 

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