I am an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Grand Rapids, MI and have become disillusioned by the health care system in which I operate. It is my intent to use this blog, in addition to a podcast that I am going to launch, to suggest to my followers that there need to be some radical changes in our “health care” system to provide an environment that will start working for the consumer.
When I am discussing our medical system with many people, I describe our current system as “disease management,” and try to convince them that true health care doesn’t exist in hospital systems. We have allowed MBAs to hijack our noble profession and this has effectively disrupted the essence of the sacred patient-doctor relationship. It has become an “encounter” factory that has led to high burnout (or moral injury) rates and high suicide rates among physicians. This is counterintuitive to our entire mission, when dedicating your life to helping others. How can we provide the necessary help to others if we are so morally and ethically demoralized by the toxic system that has been established? I propose to you that it is impossible and it is well demonstrated in the results of many of our patients.
As I came to the realization that we live in a perpetual system designed to lose (for the sake of corporate profit), I became quite cynical and depressed. There is a system out there that can and will work much better; it requires early individual engagement in a program; re-educating the general public about healthy habits; focusing treatment of mind, body and spirit; rejecting the idea that pharmaceuticals and polypharmacy is the cure to disease; and being held accountable to the plan. Over the last few months, I have become much more hopeful and excited for the future of medicine. It will involve a self-directed, personalized health environment that would primarily eliminate an insurance intermediary. It will not eliminate the need for medical insurance or ALL pharmaceuticals (at least initially), but the aim would be to lower monthly premiums because our patients are more healthy.
I hope you find this blog (and eventually the podcast) to be engaging and insightful. Our corporatized health care system has been a disaster for many and will only continue to get worse. It will be my goal to post a 3-4 blogs per week initially on different topic, all of which I feel are paramount to living a healthy and happy lifestyle!