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Tuesday, October 23rd 2012

Physicians Are Kinda Whiners

I started writing this post on the large Physicians Foundation survey of American physicians which was recently released. As per other surveys of practicing doctors, the situation in medicine and as a physician is painted as grim in this new Physicians Foundation survey.

I was going to opine about how perceptions, such as physicians growing disillusionment with the practice of medicine, are often based on comparative change rather than a flat reality. A man who has three apples and then gets two taken away may be less happy than another who never had any apples. The increasing bureaucracy of medicine, the increasing expectations and litigiousness and the decreasing compensation all likely taint physicians view of their profession.

But as Sarah Kliff of Wonkblog points out,

It’s still one of the top paid fields in the country, with over a quarter of physicians counting themselves among the top 1 percent of earners in the United States. Doctors are among the most trusted professions. Seventy percent of patients think their doctors have high or very high ethical standards. Doctors rank third in terms of most-respected professions, right behind firefighters and scientists.

I couldn’t agree more. The changes in medicine are not wholly to the benefit of physicians to be sure and we should be actively fighting against efforts to reduce physician reimbursement but despite these changes the practice of medicine remains an illustrious profession. Physicians should realize, despite changes for the worse in medicine, how remarkable they still have it.