Let’s talk about the doctors under Obama Care

The one thing that Obama supporters are not discussing is the making of a doctor.  The good doctors we have come as the result of a grueling process.  The best and the brightest, rather than leaving college and going off to make money, instead opt for the following:

1.  Four more years of graduate training, including (a) the trauma of anatomy classes and (b) the exhaustion of clinical work, which is what they do in the last two years.  The students pay to do this (or go into debt), with even the state funded medical schools costing about $40,0o0 — and that’s a minimum.  Go to Harvard, and you’re out of pocket about $150,000 for this training.

2.  An internship, which is one year of all work, on the one hand, and no sleep and almost no pay, on the other hand.

3.  If your young doctor wants to be anything more than a prison doctor, after internship, s/he does a minimum two year residency, which is two more years of virtually unpaid time spent working, not sleeping.

4.  If your young doctor wants to be anything more than an internist or family practitioner, then the additional residency years or fellowship years begin.  Again, almost no pay and no sleep.

This means that the surgeon diving into your abdomen, or heart, or brain is someone who is (a) in the top two percent of our academic population and who (b) sacrificed up to 12 years of his/her life plus tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of making that cut — and doing it right, so that you don’t bleed out or die of an infection, and so that you have a minimal scar and maximum comfort.

If medicine is no longer remunerative, there is no incentive for good people to make these kinds of sacrifices.  I’ll remind you that, in the former Soviet Union, medicine was a very devalued profession.  It was harder work than most other jobs and, because it was essentially uncompensated, no one wanted to do it.