Saturday, July 21, 2007

When Free Enterprise hurts . . .

According to this recent report, there is a shortage of doctors in America. In a free-enterprise system, this just shouldn't be with a profession as highly respected and lucrative as medical doctor. The draw should naturally fill the void.

Logical conclusion: Something is in the way.

Here are my thoughts:

First - It is far too expensive to become a doctor. This is why whole families become doctors. Once one of them is in, he/she can afford to send their children to medical school. A quick scan of my local phone book confirms this hypothesis.

Second - Cosmetic surgery has become far too commonplace in our culture. Unnecessary surgeries such as breast augmentation (I'm not talking about women who had breast cancer) use up valuable human resources.

Think about it. A woman who just wants to improve her physical appearance either because she is a stripper, adult movie star, just happens to live in California, has succumbed to the unfair pressure put on women to look a certain way, or has a first class jerk for a husband - all use up valuable medical resources. In order to have their surgery, they need doctors, nurses, medical equipment, supplies, and a hospital bed.

But let's not forget the doctors who perform these operations. I know it's a free country, but they obviously know that there are people who need life-saving operations waiting for a doctor to become available. So, where is there soul? Their compassion?

These doctors obviously know that they are making a choice. They can either help a woman fill her sweater or they can remove a tumor, set a child's broken arm, operate on a wounded soldier, etc. etc.

There is a list of professions that I have a disdain for. I'm sure your list is similar to mine:

Lawyers, politicians, Insurance executives, etc.

Well, I'm adding one more to my list. The Nip/Tuck crowd. Doctors who strictly perform cosmetic procedures on otherwise healthy individuals while ignoring the real medical needs around them.

1 comment:

Todd said...

It is NOT the free market system.

Add this to your list of disdained professionals: professional victims. These suit-happy people drive up the cost of malpractice insurance to the point that CYA becomes a major budget item for most doctors. These litigious ne'r-do-wells are much more to be blamed than our capitalist system, which has brought about as prosperous and equitable an economy as has ever existed.

The free market system works. Eventually supply and demand will even out and there will be doctors to fill the void. The question is, will we be able to afford their services?

Meanwhile the insurance companies double dip and collect from us and from the medical professionals. In a nutshell, I blame them and the afore mentioned “victims” for most of the problem.