In a humble conference room in St. Louis, medical student attendees heard eight speakers from diverse backgrounds enlighten them about the promise of healthcare freedom and protecting the patient-doctor relationship, and showed them—as future doctors—how they can be excited again about a positive future in medicine.
Over and over I heard the same thing: The AMA doesn’t represent us, the AMA is irrelevant, the AMA is corrupt. The same thing for the national specialty societies: The American Academy of Family Medicine doesn’t get it, the American College of Physicians is out of touch, the American Board of Pediatrics is too busy on political issues. “But wait,” I’d ask…”I’m talking about your STATE and COUNTY medical societies.” Blank stares.
On Aug. 20, thousands of people came together across the country to raise awareness of medical student and physician suicide and depression. Physicians rank among the highest in suicides; and, we lose an average of 400 medical students—roughly the size of an entire medical school—each year, to suicide. The event’s main organizer, Lacey Kohlmoos, discusses how the events went, and what other projects are in the offing.
His eyes dropped, and his wife replied, “We lost our daughter.” The man looked up at me and said, “I was a sniper in the Vietnam war. I could handle the circumstances of my life until I lost my daughter. Now I need help.”
New paradigms and breakthroughs in medicine and medical delivery are the norm, rather than the exception. Our doctors are getting better; yet, due to increasing healthcare policy burdens their lives are not. By increasing the layers of an already complex system, bureaucrats force unnecessary, additional difficulties on our doctors. Doctors must become informed leaders for common sense healthcare reform that takes care of doctors and patients.