Doctoring Health Care Knowledge Reflection

The “happiness quotient” and healthcare reform and Tiger…

Here is a surprise: Doctors and hospitals oppose the recent medicare provision. Us cardiologists are also opposed to the looming 50% cuts in medicare reimbursement. Imagine.

Is this good news? Certainly not, how would anyone feel about earning 50% less? Will this cause access problems for the 65 and up patients; you bet it will. How is it conceivable that one remain unemotional, even unconcerned?

Some reasoning that crossed my thoughts while reading the recent sports news…

How a doctor feels about these impending changes depend on many things, but high on the list must include one’s “happiness quotient.” On that ten-point scale of Will M’s, where are you and how much does the value of your paycheck affect this ratio? It follows then to ask what fraction is required to accumulate grins?

For example, consider a doctor (or lawyer or any achiever) couple in their forties, professionally at a peak, and compare present day salaries with the paltry salaries in training. Then consider the question: on a scale of 1-10 how happy were you then compared to now. An educated guesser would conclude there would be similar ratings. Really? How so is that possible, there are so many more things now-a better house, car, clothes etc.

Does our happiness quotient depend on how much we possess? A wise man and former patient was known to say, “be careful what you own or it may own you.Are not these words written 150 years ago about the upwardly mobile, saying the same…

’seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.”

By a fluke of nature, if Congres or CMS or whoever, decided to pay us more, would we accumulate more dross, would our “happiness quotient’ change to the better? Or, might our fetters tighten?

Think no further than America’s most recent icon, Tiger.