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Monday, August 16, 2010

I am not a carpenter.

Working as a physician gives you deep perspective of our society. I decided to be a physician because I  care about the human factor in medicine. Now you may wonder what does that mean. Well sometimes we are so immersed in evaluating data, recent studies and X-rays etc. that we forget the emotional and human aspects of a person. I feel in order to heal a person you need more than a computing mind., no wonder we have no robots doing this job. Sometimes sitting down with the patient and inquiring them about their emotional needs does more than just asking them if they have chest pain of SOB (shortness of breath not to be confused by a common street phrase).

Healing is a holistic process. If our job only requires fixing a broken bone with screws and plates or opening a blocked vessel than we are nothing but glorified carpenters or for some plumbers. I sometime feel that this is what we are some times.

Today I had a meeting where I was discussing how we are suppose to meet Medicare requirements. But than I thought we need to go a little more than that. Isn't meeting bare requirements mean that you are admitting for being a mediocre doctor. Our goal should be to achieve excellence. On the other hand in this day and age where we have to worry more about volume of patients in order to keep afloat, there is not enough time to go above and beyond. You feel guilty because you have to meet your RVUs (revenue value units). But if you won't we have to deal with powers to be.

Unfortunately medicare does not have a code for physicians to sit at the bedside and hold a dying patient's hand. Though do pay very well for putting a pace maker (40 grand just for the pacemaker) on a 93 year old woman who I had today with advanced dementia, she is constantly asking for her dolls. Maybe I am naive and ignorant and do not understand why at this stage of her life a pacemaker would probably comfort more than a gentle hand.
But what do I know I also work in the mill though not a true carpenter!

Anyway catch you later.

PS: I took this picture on my visit to Chicago.

1 comment:

James. said...

I think you are right, we are all working in the mill.