Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Gonna Die...

... and college will surely be the cause. Week three of classes has just begun and already I'm running on caffeine, adrenaline, and despair.

So far, I've had three homework assignments, one exam (on which I scored a rocking C, due to my intellect's embarrassing defeat at the hands of a ScanTron sheet), and eleventy-gazillion pages of reading material.

Deep breaths. I can do this. In the words of... well I don't know who said it, "Failure is not an option." Really not.

I've got to get these things done and I've got to get A's on them, because, I don't want to be a biologist. I want to be a doctor and you don't get into med school with C's.

Success or Death!

In other news; I'm taking a Health Care Mega-Trends class, which is retarded.

I thought, first of all, that my proffessor would exert at least some, small modicum of effort to appear neutral, but no such luck.

Let me preface this rant with the fact that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our health care system is broken.

I'm just not entirely sure that Obamacare (I'm sorry, the Affordable Healthcare Act) is the best way to go. I'm certainly not going to go out on a limb and say that it's the only way to go.

The textbooks I've got to read for this class are unbelievably biased and one of them is out of print (Who assigns out of print books as textbooks anyway?).

But, the free market system won't fix our health care system, squeal my textbooks. We've tried that before and it didn't work!

No. We haven't.

First of all, we've never tried a free market system. You know, with price transparency and interstate competition for health insurance companies (among other things)? So don't tell me that we tried it and it didn't work.

Second of all, even assuming that a free market system wouldn't fix a majority of the problems in our health care system, how is the Affordable Care Act the only good solution? What about a single payer system (Eeek! Socialized medicine!) Hell, it works for a whole lot of other developed nations around the world. What makes us so different?

But they'll kill off our old people in giant concentration camps like the Nazi's! I hear you say.

First of all, that brings up opinions on certain end of life issues that I know I don't share with a majority of Americans (although none of them involve concentration camps for old people) so I won't get into that. Second of all, no. No they won't. Let's not be stupid. No one advocating for a single payer health care system is suggesting that you ship grandma off to the Old People Resort, Spa, and Death Camp (TM). Nor is any (sane) economic or political forecaster predicting any such thing. Do they kill off their elderly in Canada? How 'bout the Netherlands? Great Britain?

Seriously, lets get real for a minute here. Would there be some "rationing" of care? Of course there would. Rationing care is the only reasonable way to provide care for everyone. You fractured your tailbone (please note: this is only an example) and now, you'll have to wait a week or so to get it repaired. I'm sorry, the orthopedists in your area are busy repairing spines. Think I sound heartless? Think about how you sound, when you whine about that sprained knee that needs to be checked, to a person that's had to walk around (and go to work) for the last five years with a broken back.

But who would make the decisions about who gets care right now and who has to wait? You ask.


Yes, that's what I said. Get over it, all you whiny, mealy-mouthed, members of our public who scream about how our average joe is just as good as any doctor out there. They are fully as valuable, as people, but they are not on the same level professionally. Doctors are in a special position where they have acquired a vast amount of knowledge from specialized schools, training, and work experience in caring for people with medical conditions, that we, as the general public, are not. Don't like it? Take a shot at med school and practice for a few years. Then you can make your own judgment calls about who can and cannot (or should and should not) be treated and/or saved.

Doctors, not elected officials, not bean counting bureaucrats, would need to be the ones to make the calls. Heck, appoint, or even elect, a panel of them that the public can appeal to.

I don't see why this idea causes such a problem for some people. Most people don't do their own taxes, fix their own cars, or cut their own hair, so why the hell do they leave these matters to experts (who went to school to learn their trades) but expect to know better than medical practitioners about health care? I'd bet your doctor doesn't fix his own computer.


All right, I'm done for now (I think) although I'm sure there'll be more to come. I feel a posts about end of life issues and HIPPA coming on as we speak, but my Biology notes are calling to me so I'd better go.


  1. I love that you're right all "in the thick of it" so to speak...

    Doctors also base many decisions on opionions.

    -If your water breaks, you should deliver in 12 hours to avoid infection.
    -If your water breaks, you should deliver in 24 hours to avoid infection.
    -If your water breaks, you should come to the hospital right away & get on an antibiotic. We'll see how labor is going, and decide a course of action from there.

    One scenario, three options (and just three based on local hospitals/doctors I have been subject to). And sometimes there are doctors that have been "doing it this way for 35 years" versus the "I am up to date on all the newest sciences, but have only had letters after my name for 6 weeks".

    People want a standard. They want a doctor in Portland, OR to prescribe the same reliable treatment for a sprained wrist as a doctor in Portland, ME. Variety can be good, but when we're talking about someone else getting to make all the decisions for us, we want someone who is doing more than triaging us & moving on. I do think doctors should be much more involved even in the current healthcare system of private & public insurances. My doctor suggested a procedure for me. I have looked into the procedure before but wasn't able to do it b/c the insurance didn't think it was "necessary". And it wasn't a big deal, it's not life threatening. But now I am with a new insurance and a doctor is saying, "I think you would be a good candidate for it." This company has different standards for the procedure, my doctor knew this, and knew I fell within the parameters...but he would still need to convince the insurance company that they should pay for it. I would never want for my procedure to be handled before a life-saving one, but mine would still be life-changing. And I think that makes an impact either way.

  2. Well written and thought out. And don't worry, you'll catch your breath soon... ;-)