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Letting Doctors Care For Their Patients

“Ouch! That really hurts! You win, please stop torquing my arm behind my back. “Uncle! I said, Uncle!!”

Yes, the threshold has been reached. We docs no longer need a tennis court or a Mercedes, our kids are fine in public schools, and we will happily buy our own damn pens.

But, please, just give us some modicum of autonomy. Throw us a measly scrap and let us take care of our patients as we see best. Like Dr. Saul Greenfield so beautifully said today in the Wall Street Journal. The paragraph that stood out the most for me is as follows:

Physician autonomy is a major defense against those who comfortably sit in remote offices and make calculations based on concerns other than an individual patient’s welfare. Uniformity of practice is a nonsensical goal that fails to allow for differing expression of disease states.

Really, it isn’t hyperbole to surmise that the overwhelming majority of doctors would decide, if faced with a choice between less compensation and less autonomy, to choose less compensation.

As a teen my dad told me the best part of being a doctor would be the autonomy. He was right, and that’s what hurts the most these days.

JMM

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

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