General Medicine Health Care Health Care Reform

Health care reforn: So much anger and it hasn’t even happened yet…

My dad repeatedly advised me to stop being so upset about things that may happen in the future. Great advice, as was most advice bestowed to me by Mom, Dad, Gramps and Non. Age and parenthood brings clarity.

In mountain bike speak, the medical community is “sideways” about the impending health care changes; distractively so. Much energy is being wasted worrying. It (reform) has not yet happened, but the vitriol is in full swing. I feel like an outcast at work, as I harbor little worry about the upcoming changes. The President and Congress are despised in the doctor’s lounge. Even patients have voiced their angst about something that hasn’t happened yet. The medical journals are abuzz with articles decreeing the demise of the profession. Come on, really?

I feel like referring them to my Dad.

Why am I not worried?

1. I’m dumb. Possible. Sometimes I race a bike like the dumbest doctor in KY.

2. That Mercury tracer and Honda Civic I drove the first few years of practice are looking better now. Savings when young is a good thing; thanks Dad and Mom. Good advice again.

3. I love electrophysiology and, do not tell, but would do it for less. We can change lives with a 1-2 hour procedure and then people come back in the office and thank us. That moment is the essence of job satisfaction.

4. Pay cuts are not new. Every year for the past 10 we have made less. Immunity is setting in.

5. The “happiness quotient” is the same now as it was in 1996 when Staci and I had a negative net worth.

6. Inability to affect the reform game. Some may say this is a cop-out, like not voting, because “my vote doesn’t matter.” Maybe so, but life is a marathon and we have limited matches to burn. Individually fighting feels akin to pedaling fast in mud and simply spinning wheels and going nowhere.

7. For me, presently, good legs, good health and smiles from Staci, Catherine and Will affect the happiness quotient more than the pay stub.

8. I figure that regardless of what happens in the future my job will still involve asking patients to describe the problem, observe the objective data, formulate a mutually agreeable plan and then implement the plan to the best of my ability.

9. Finally, us doctors make good money, period. A little less is still good.


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