I have wanted to be a physician since I was ten years old. It wasn’t the lure of money as people might think or the prestige of being called “Doctor” that motivated me. It was the privilege of caring for those who are sick.
Eventually I made my way through medical school and began practicing in the American medical system. It was absolutely wonderful until the increasing bureaucracy, government regulations, and the standards of care as determined by ivory tower academia ruined all that.
Now, as one author put it: “Our approach to patients was more finance and marketing than science. And physicians were low-level, stethoscope-wielding bureaucrats engaged in masking patients’ predetermined outcomes with meaningless physical exams and useless paperwork.”
But today it was different. I now practice membership medicine (direct primary care). And because I no longer submit to the whims of insurance companies to get paid or fret over governmental regulatory practices to determine “what’s best” for my patients, I was able to visit a dying patient/friend right there in his home.
We laughed, talked politics, discussed economics, and enjoyed the sun beaming in through the window together for 60 minutes. I never even took a stethoscope.
He said it made his day. And I practiced real medicine for that hour. It made my day too.