It took me eleven (that’s right, 11) years to get a license to practice medicine. After four years of a grueling science, chemistry, and math curriculum in undergrad, Â it was then off to medical school to start another four long years. And this, only after completing the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).
Then it was over one hundred hours a week studying, caring for patients , and preparingÂ for examsÂ during medical schoolÂ before someone handed me a diploma that said, Richard D. Edgerly, MD.Â Wait, we’re not done yet. Then it was off to three years of an internship and residency training for more education. Eleven long years and only then did I earn the right to hang up a shingle and practice the trade I love.
Yesterday I took care of a long time patient of mine who has been under my care for hypertension (high blood pressure). Her blood pressure was elevated and she was experiencing headaches again. She had been under good hypertensive control for years until January. Then her insurance company disallowed her usual hypertension medicines because they were no longer on the “preferred medicine list.” Â The insurance company had negotiated a differentÂ drug panel for 2011 and her’s didn’t make the cut. Â
So now I am starting all over again. And this decision wasn’t made by someone who has a license to practive medicine at all. It was made by someone who counts beans for the insurance company. What do you suggestÂ I do about that?