Healthcare Reform a Little Closer

March 21, 2010

rarely do I have the level of sentimentality to gather my two children with me to watch something on TV. today at 4:07 pm a Michigan congressman, albeit grandstanding, threw his support to a bill, that however flawed (No public option) moves this country a hair closer to universal coverage. Fox ‘Opinion’ News network is going full blast to try to scare off the wavering congressmen about their jobs in November. As if the voters will remember another deficit more or less. no one got thrown out of office over the deficit spending on a trillion or two on the war in Iraq. It is hard to see anyone getting emtional and weepy over NOT kicking your brother off his plan for ‘pre-existing condition’ or kicking YOU off YOUR PARENTS plan because you are now 23 and the rules cover you till age 26 now, with the new plan, not age 21.

It is hard to imagine your grandmother living in Florida becoming infuriated because the new health plan STOPS her from having to fork over $1,000 to $2,000 a year OUT of POCKET for her medications. The ‘doughnut hole’ is gone.

If you don’t know what that is, and you are in healthcare you should be ashamed of yourself that you DON’T know that seniors have to pay CASH until they hit a maximum each year.

The Republicans have FAILED to scare off the usually spineless democrats about making a vote that makes it BETTER for sick people.

Tomorrow I will be in the hospital. Tomorrow, I will have to, again, like every day, discharge a person without insurance, a person unable to fill their prescriptions. yet, Tomorrow, I know that at least we will be on the way to ending this horrible and shameful injustice.


Brothers and Countrymen once again

December 26, 2009

It is not often that I must think about the ‘idea of America’, but with the passage of Healthcare reform, we now enter the Golden Age of Medicine.

There is to be a THIRTY percent increase in the output of all US med Schools over three years. There is to be a 15,000 person increase in the number of residents.

So, America sheds a light, or covers a light over MUCH greater area than just our own land.

Robert Kennedy 1968
“SURELY, we can begin to work a little harder,
To bind up the wounds among us,
and to become in our hearts,
Brothers and Countrymen,
Once again.”


December 26, 2009

Today, we share a community,
Not just a city.
Today we are bound in a common effort,
Not just a common dwelling
We shed common fears
we discard the common desire to retreat from each other
We discard the impulse to meet disagreement with force.

Passage of Healthcare Reform in the Senate

December 26, 2009

“More perfect Union” . It’s an interesting and good phrase from the ‘Declaration of Independence”. Not too arrogant, not too much intoxicated demagoguery that obliterates accuracy by saying ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’, but today, In America, we DO have a ‘More Perfect Union’.

Two or three generations ago, a woman could not vote, black people could not get a seat on a bus and it was okay to invade countries if you were strong enough.
In the ‘Post imperial” world, we do not need more territory, more land and geography. And, I am completely sure, that we as a society, have enough money for what is important to us.

Today, 30 million Americans will start on the process towards health coverage, the REAL risk to their lives. Today, enough Americans decided that FIRST you do what is right, then AFTER you figure out how to pay for it.
In America today, goodness has won. Justice is polished, Hope is stronger, the dream of a better america has occurred, ‘more perfect”

This Historic Day

November 8, 2009

Our nation is, today a more perfect Union. It does not matter if the vote be close, it  only matters that we pause to collect the enormous energy to come from  BOTH houses of congress having passed Healthcare reform legislation. Today is the day, we reach out in compassion to the suffering, and the weak.

All we must sacrifice is our own unnecessary worry.  Today America is a prouder place to be. Today, in your lifetime.

Today I was in the room with the President of the American Association of Medical Colleges and listened to him speak for an hour on the grandeur of this day. That a great moral wrong has been corrected.

Our Hour to reach Greatness again in America: Nearing Universal Coverage

November 1, 2009

With Nine Months in office, the President and the Current congress have gone farther towards universal healthcare coverage than at any other time in the History of America. Not since Medicare was voted into being in 1965, against the same objections of the Republican party that it would bankrupt America, that we would get ‘Socialized Medicine” have we seen such a leap forward. i was on a panel discussion today at the University of Missouri and I saw GoodWill in action. With little care for how it would affect us personally in Medicine, I witnessed a total committment to reach out an fulfill the “Idea” that is America.

Remember, ‘America” is an idea, not geography.  My America does not torture. My America protects the weak and the vulnerable. My America is packed with a tulmultuous energy that welcomes everyone, from every land and distills the best drops of the Species on these shores and creates a fragrance of Hope and Heroism.

The Senate and House bills both put us at either 94 or 96% coverage of Americans. Both prevent denial of coverage to those who are the most ill, with pre-existing conditions and those are catastrophically ill. Both increase re-imbursement for primary care to balance the scales.

Let us pause for a moment and rest, and revel in the marvel of change. Let us absorb the energy of this tremendous HOPE and use it to finish the job. A strong public option. Control of the runaway greed of private health insurance. Expansion of the Med schools and the residencies, and let us pause, look at the closing of Guantanamo bay, the re-engagement of the rest of the world as a partner, not a tyrant, and let us feel the bliss, if only for a moment, that the idea of America, our Heroic and best America, our generous and noble America is. today, a more perfect union.

I am DELIGHTED that ‘Organized Medicine’ is 100% behind healthcare reform.

October 19, 2009

As a grown up ‘Class Clown’ I have rarely been on the same side as organized medicine. I have rarely seen them act with dignity,  courage and honor. I have seen cowardice, safe-keeping and reticence. I am delighted, thrilled, and happy to say that EVERY organized medicine group, all of them, have repeatedly, with decency, intelligence and guts, take on the ‘status Quo’. I have never been prouder to be a physician. It is NOT only that 77% of doctors support a public option, it is that the American College of Phyicians, the AmericanAcademy of Family Practive, the American College of Surgeons and MANY MANY MANY others are ALL doing the right thing. They are standing up for the good, the right, and the just.

I have never particularly felt ‘Proud’ to be part of the collegiality of physicians. But I am now. They are voting their hopes, and not their fears. They are acting as GOOD stewards of the public good and are acting from nobility

Limited Time from school to make interviews

October 18, 2009


Is there a way to learn more about how happy people are at a given residency program without going on the interview? My school strictly limits the amount of time I can take off for interviews during each rotation. As a result, I need to make some choices about which interviews are more worthy than others and am unsure how to proceed.

Thank you for all of your guidance! Your personal statement series helped me to make a statement that truly reflects me!


Your interviews are the MOST important thing you can do! I do care if they ‘Only give you a certain amount of time.”  You MUST make the time. this is MUCH more imporantant than any arbitrary limit of time on your interviews from schools. As such. to hell with their rules. Protect yourself.

You are the one who is going to have to live, for a  long time, with the outcome of you interviews’

1. Explain it to the local clerkship director

2. Generally he/She will agree.

3. IF they do NOT agree, then YOU must take the situation into your own hands and do as many interviews as you see fit.

Seriously, what a bunch of assholes@!

It is not at if you were going to the movies or something

Contemplating the number of Interviews you have

October 17, 2009

It is a weird time in the interview process. Even for the people who have many interviews, there has been a strange level of dissatatisfaction. You think you should be happier. I understand.

You will have to start from where you are. You can grow and learn enough medicine ANYWHERE. I am fully convinced of this.  Now, there is a difference in where you can get to later based on the name of where you are, but name only makes it easier. Not automatic. Not impossible.

When you are looking at your programs that you are going to for interview it comes down to two things:

-WHat is the location?

-Do people seem happy?

October 14, 2009

Stream of Life

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day

runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth

in numberless blades of grass

and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth

and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.

And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.