Effect of HealthCare Reform on the Doctor’s Soul

You get the impulse to go to medical school You start out pure. You get tarnished along the way by the cares and worries of the effort.

Nothing could be more soul-killing than to kick someone out of your office knowing that a person in need will be neglected. Now we start the cycle of reaction formation and defense mechnisms that lead into the S*&T spiral that leads the physician further off course from ‘vocation’ into ‘business’.
In ‘Routine Miracles’ I wrote about how stunning it was that the Public Turst of physicians was at an all-time high, yet 85% of physicians and students did not believe it.

First I wondered where this false impression came from? Now we have to ask, what damage does it do to the profession that we have this negative self impression?
Here is my conjectural leap.
Until we become happy ‘Buddhas’ immunue to the impression and opinion of ‘the crowd’ we move to the external measurement device. At least psychologically. If the whole profession has this negative self-impression, they will not rise up and devote themslves to the eradication of disease. They will, instead, find a comfortable well feathered nest to hide in.

Our nobility will have been degraded, because we, as a profession cannot stand, cannot bear cannot tolerate thinking the public does not trust and admire us. Hence, we withdraw from the fray.
Healthcare reform will, I believe, help us to stand tall as a profession. No one kicked out for inability to pay, and we will, once again, perfume our minds iwth our sacred calling.

We can all today feel a little prouder to be a physician. We are on the way to a more universal goodness. Perhaps in a year or two, when no on is turned away for inabilty to pay, we will psychologically be able to accept what is a fact. The public trusts us. Perhaps, we will be less embarrassed and realize that with the profit motive becoming desatruated in the field, we really can stand tall and say “Yes, I am indeed worthy of the trust of my society. I stand up for the best in us and I practic compassion. I am trusted, and I am trust worthy’



3 Responses to “Effect of HealthCare Reform on the Doctor’s Soul”

  1. Grace Bhatti Says:

    Very well said Dr. Conrad! I think that it is time to once again ponder on the fact that made us doctors in the first place: to serve the sick and the underprivileged regardless of the socioeconomic status of these people.
    I come from a developing country where the health system is very different from the U.S. I worked in a missionary hospital and there were times when I couldn’t do much for patients who couldn’t pay the bills and that was the most difficult and challenging part of my profession.
    I hope that this will be a defining moment in the altruistic behavior of the physicians.

  2. Ada Says:

    Dr. Fischer,

    Will you please, tell us when is the best time to apply
    for residency?
    Some people say on the first second and some say in
    the middle of September.

  3. Mahdi Says:

    Hi Dr. Fischer,
    I dont know if your still reading or updating this blog but did you ever think about going on The Daily Show to promote the book?


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