Doctors are selfish bastards, pt. 1

There is a shortage of Primary Care Physicians in the US. It leads to longer waits for patients to see doctors for basic & preventative care, and to PCPs who have less time to spend with each patient.  ie: Wait weeks-to-months for a 15 minute appointment with your doctor.  (And/or get treated by a nurse instead.)

There is not a shortage of doctors. But given the choice between earning 2 or 3 times the median household income as PCPs and 10+ times the median household income as specialists/surgeons, doctors are choosing earning more money over doing what is best for people’s health, or for society at large.

We pretend that doctors, as a class, want to help.  Want to do good.  That they selected their profession with noble intentions.  Sadly, this is not borne out by the facts.  Not any more.  Not in how doctors set their courses as a group, and not in how they practice medicine on a day-to-day and patient-by-patient basis.*

They are choosing self over society.  They are choosing wealth over health.

*(The latter exemplified in the rising costs of healthcare without corresponding increases in wellness or even accurate diagnosis – doctors don’t bother to do a good job because they get paid better not to.  Which is a separate issue I may post about another time; today I am thinking about a dearth of PCPs, not the average PCP’s high likelihood of running a test rather than thinking.)

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