A Doctor's Rant- We Hate It Too

This hub was written in answer to a question (Doc, why does everything indicate that doctors are nothing more than fultime drug company employees?) about what do we do about the control big pharma has over our health care distribution and policies in the United States. It is just based on my thoughts and opinions as they flowed between my first cup of coffee and getting my kid ready for ski school. As it was going to be an answer, it is not as coherent as it might have been if I had planned an article, so take it for what it is.

It's really such a hard question. I wish I had ANY idea what the answer should be. Unfortunately, those same big evil drug companies (and they do have lots of slimy elements) are the ones that spend billions researching and developing life-saving treatments. They have the billions because they charge ridiculous amount of money for their product. Sigh. I don't like their practices but I don't know how to untie them from the process, if we want to have the development of new treatments. The government sure can't afford to provide care for everyone AND develop new drugs. Not without a near 100% tax rate anyway.

The insurance companies are a thorn in everyone's side. They are a business. They could care less if the patients get taken care of or if the doctors get paid a dime. They care about their profit, first and foremost and that's a problem. As far as universal health care, there are some countries where people seem somewhat satisfied with it. However, that's all the people have ever known. Waiting a few weeks/months for an MRI is acceptable to them. I used to work at a prominent medical center and I can tell you that the wealthy of those other countries wouldn't wait for their care in some cases. They came to the US for tests and treatments where they felt the care was easily obtainable and viewed as superior anyway.

Here, if you can't walk in to the emergency room and demand one, people are outraged and threaten to sue if there is anything abnormal found and they had to wait. My husband is an ER doctor and he gets these threats to sue at least twice a week. Unfortunately, if there is ANY indication to do the test, it has to be done. People have the impression that lawsuits are just people getting money from the insurance companies. NO. The doctors rates soar with even a notice of intent to sue. If you are a new doc, this rate- and the emotional distress of it all- may force you out of practice and I know two people who have had this happen. It will certainly make you 'play the game' to avoid another, especially since the rates of your whole provider group can be raised and your partners will be quite unhappy. **An interesting experiment will be to see what percentage of the ads that pop up on this hub are for malpractice attorneys looking for clients**

I don't know anything about the whole 'death panel' thing. I think it's probably some twisting of something that opponents grabbed onto and sensationalized.

The whole health care system is a mess and I really don't know how to untwist the elements from each other. Doctors hate it too, by the way. It's part of the reason that I only work part-time and write and consult and other stuff. Most docs I know would NOT do it again - just not worth it. And most are unhappy about all of this mess (and the ridiculous work hours). They want to do a good job and are restricted at every turn sometimes and the patients blame the docs. It's very disheartening to give up your youth, your time with your family, your health in some cases...just to have the people you are trying to help hate you. This makes me terribly sad. And I would do my job for less money under a universal system, but the whole thing has to change. My student loans and malpractice premium cost $5000 per month and I pay 50% taxes. I am not wealthy although the public perceives me (docs in general) to be and resents my salary.

DISCLAIMER (because docs always have to give one)

WARNING: This is an answer to a question about health care in America. It's a stream of consciousness series of thoughts. It is not a complete treatise on the subject as I am NOT qualified to present such information. It is MY OPINION. It is based on personal experience. I am not educated in the business of health care and don't make any pretense about knowing all the ins-and-outs of our or other health care systems. I answered a question to the best of my ability.

Having said that, I avoid the "I hate doctor" forums (that are everywhere, by the way in one form or another) because it seriously makes me depressed, so if you have the feeling that you'd like to rant on docs, I respectfully ask that you start a new forum or hub about it. It just makes me too sad and I'd prefer, if possible, not to see it here. All I can do is ask as I am not trying to limit anyone's freedom of expression.

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Comments 10 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I agree the whole of the whole healthcare system is a mess.

I certainly don't agree with Obama care and I think toward reform is absolutely essential if were going to get medical cost under control. You brought up a lot of good points in your hub.


Slave2No1 profile image

Slave2No1 5 years ago from Oneida, NY

Excellent Hub (answer) that may help some people put things in a different perspective and understand the dilemma of it all from a better Point Of View (POV). I think it was obvious to everyone (except Obama) that any major 'reform' was going to stir up more problems than it could possibly fix in one fell swoop. Might as well sink money into raising the Titanic, especially when so much of taxpayer's money is already being blown on an ever-more-costly 'War Against Terror'. Creating laws to force change on people only makes them angry, in most cases, even when such laws are trying to be positive on one hand, you know it will probably be negative on the other. I can see how Obama wanted to be a 'Robin Hood' savior, but his 'arrow' into the heart of 'health-care evils' turned out to be a boomerang back in his face. He dove into the waters without checking for any (sharp) rocks below. IE: Never let your mind write a check that your 'body' isn't prepared to cash.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

I knew that you were going to be upset by a particular comment to one of your hubs. I was hoping that you would go read some of the author's writings, and then be able to not take it so personally. Every doctor that I know hates that drug companies are so entrenched in the 'care' of patients. Drug companies have capital, so they have power. The same with the insurance companies, who from my professional perspective, are even worse than big pharma. Everytime I see the Humana commercial with grandparents and grandkids I get physically ill, because I have seen so many grandparents screwed (sorry) by that particular insurance company. Doctors are caught in the middle and squeezed on all sides, just like patients are. It will continue to be that way until medicine (and I don't mean physicians) is no longer big business. I recently wrote an article about utilization management that might give you a different perspective. http://hubpages.com/health/So-You-Are-Afraid-Of-De...

Anyone who has patient contact is extremely sensitive to actual patient care and we all seem to suffer the effects of feeling powerless. I am sorry that you took the author's comments to heart. You had nothing to do with his bad experience. The difference between most doctors and most patients vs. the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies is that we are people and care about each life and death and they are companies that care about profit and loss. Huge difference!

Again, many people will take out their anger on those that have nothing to do with their experiences. They don't know what else to do with it.

It is anger misplaced, but most of all, it is unkind and unwarranted. Let it go, you have to...We need you to continue giving us the information we need.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I don't know how the insurance companies got so gigantic, but the beast is there now. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But I can say that insurance companies rule the medical world now. It's a shame.


jordan Miller profile image

jordan Miller 5 years ago

It's sad that the people who are sitting in the corner offices of the insurance companies are making mutimillion dollar bonuses at the sacrifice of both doctors and patients.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Having spent many years in corporate pharma as a communications strategist, I see the good and the bad about how docs are approached by pharma. I also see how the public is bombarded by pharma ads on TV, how pharma employees are led down the path to believing that their jobs are for the ultimate good (when ultimate greed is the real motive), and how the whole mess gets played out in politics.

There is no doubt that docs may be informed first by pharmas about the latest and the greatest. That's something that needs to change...perhaps by a medical panel, listened to and subscribed to by practicing doctors, that evaluates new corporate pharma offerings first. But we're a long way from that.

Yours is a refreshing voice.


Dilnashi profile image

Dilnashi 5 years ago from England

Nice info.Thank you for the blog post. I have book-marked your blog as a favorite! i am now following you. i vote it up, as well as shared my twitter friends. And also great hub. Thanks again.

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sickasadog 5 years ago

I just say to people wait till you are sick and have to deal daily with insurance companies and doctors. See first hand how it is a huge business that is into making profit instead of healing.

Health care should not be for profit period...too many people pay with their lives. DO you want to pay with your child? Well many poor families do daily.

I know that Obama's plan has it many flaws but it is beginning and we need to start somewhere.

As to universal health in other countries...at least people have health coverage which is more than i can say for many of the families in this country.

My dr started a program because so many families and people in my county in Northern Calif did not have insurance so could not go to a doctor. You go and get treated then all they ask is you volunteer the time somewhere locally.

It is working and growing with other doctors giving their time! Shows what can happen if you get doctors that do care!

Than on flip side there are so many doctors who i know look at me as maybe i can pay for their bathroom remodeling etc. They have newest gadgets in their office but can they take few minutes to really listen, no.

And talk about doctors and pharm companies....i personally have been a victim of that ...where the dr saw me for 5 minutes and put me on about 8 pills..pills grew due to side affects..i kept questioning the amount and the PA who you see because the real dr is too busy to see real paitients...says you will be on all these drugs all your life. When i asked why ...because you need them.

Thankfully for every bad dr or PA there are good ones and i was weaning myself off all those drugs when i meant a great doctor that just cared about truly making me better. I got off all the pills with his help and on a few that did help way more than all those pills did.

I have people who came up and told me that i would be drooling and not aware ..i was so drugged up but they still wanted me to drive hour to their appointments!

After 5 years of off all those pills, i still am working on trying to get my brain and body back to the real me. I am now wondering if i ever will be able.

So was i put on all those pills for profit or because they really cared....easy for profit. I never even had the problem they said i did....i just had a severe loss in my life and do have a few real diseases that had nothing to do with those other drugs.

So if you think doctors are not over drugging people daily because they want kick backs from pharm companies than you are not sick or stupid.

WE need to clean up our health care system and we need to supply everyone with a great health care benefits. Fair as possible..yes the rich can fly places and get help sooner but we ca make it the best possible services we can...and with all the doctors, Pa's etc it should be very doable.

If we all work together and take the profit out of it. Bodies are worth more than all the money in the world if it is yours or someone you love. So treat each person like it is someone you love. That would solve so many of our basic problems.

I know naive to think some people will but if we take profit out...the bad ones will go somewhere else and good ones will be left...doctors who really want to heal.

As to dr in Tahoe...he better be careful because what they did to all the dr's in his field in my small town was hire a bunch so salary dropped so low most of the good ones left..in fact all did. They only than would call the cheaper ones in for surgeries and told surgeons they could not pick for themselves.

WE really did lose all good athes doctors and nurses or lesser paying people are doing it now.

We are just rock's throw from TAhoe so sure it is going to happen there as well.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Insurance companies are a big part of the blame, although the big pharmaceutical companies take in profit as well as research money.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

I only needed to read the title before giving my opinion. Sire, there are docs (some more than others) who prescribe needlessly, but by and large, docs see a problem and look for a solution, a read solution into which meds don't play a part.

But, often, before they get to the solution, they have to use medications. They'll give the doc a hint as to what the problem might be. One of the big culprits, is the patient who doesn't want to leave the docs office without a prescription. Just an example, a cold may get better in 7 days with antibiotics; but it'll take a week without antibiotics. People too often demand that little piece of paper. Oftentimes an antibiotic is necessary, other times, docs are talked into them.

And don't get me started on universal healthcare. I really think those who are satisfied with it, haven't known otherwise, haven't known that to have a 3 month wait for an MRI doesn't have to be.

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