Monday, March 29, 2010

To Seek the Wisdom of the Children

(downtown Plainview, TX - from the entrance to Broadway Brew, the coolest coffee shop north of Lubbock and my haven)

Hi Guys,

The past 6 weeks of my life are forever entwined in the Texas Panhandle, kind of like the graceful way of flowers in the wind... only the wind up there will likely demolish all but the most hardy of flora. It was always blowing and gusting as if the land had turned a million years old and 1 million candles were flaming the sky tangerine. Only the candles are trick candles and always relight themselves :)
(My niece Fiona is feeling poopy, I saw lots of sick kids like her... only not as adorable :)

Well, it would surprise me if any of the kiddos should miss me in Plainview, TX. All most of the kids knew was that some strange, grissly man was harassing them with dangerous weapons... such as a mace (my stethoscope), ear splitter (otoscope), laser eye destroyer (opthalmoscope), joint cruncher (reflex hammer), etc... the list of horrible, atrocious weapons goes on! And from the crying shrieks that spluttered from each exam room I entered, a perfect stranger to kids and doctor's offices might be quite alarmed. Yes, I am talking about my pediatric rotation.

Caring for children is so fun! I could drop my plans for family medicine residency and be perfectly happy as a pediatrician forever. But then I would miss out on all the stories that the "golden aged" adults could share, delivering pregnant mommies of their heavy loads, and having a clue on how to medically treat the billions of adult people that also share this oblong sphere with their offspring. Not that I'll ever see 1 billion people with my eyes. Hmmm, how many of us get to view 1 billion different people? Supposedly, the average number of acquaintances (1st degree relationships) for 1 individual is 1,000. This thought can be marginally verified via Facebook.

No, I'll stick with family medicine for now. With all the new Obamacare around the corner, any primary care field is looking a more attractive. It will be interesting to see if more students enter primary care as opposed to specialty fields which dominate most graduating classes now. Specialty medicine doctors often work less and make more, much more, than primary care docs. Please don't mistake the previous comment for approval of the healthcare reform though! At least in Texas, I have met few physicians that support it. Most docs will agree that something must be done, the status quo is self-destructing. Yet the current legislative attempt to resolve the problem is throwing a lot of money at the problem but accomplishing little. ( Although some would say that insuring 30 million people is an accomplishment )

To my understanding, these problems (and more) are not addressed:
1. tort reform which limits frivolous law suits and keeps the expense of medicine down
2. physician reimbursement cuts, the government has been pushing back reimbursement cuts for docs for years... in March they again delayed the now 21% cut until next year... when it will be a bigger cut. This percentage marks nearly $500 Billion that the government has borrowed to pay doctors. Yes doctors need to accept a pay cut to some extent... but only after the cost of practice is decreased. How would you like %21 of your salary taken from you?
3. congress members still allow themselves premium healthcare instead of taking a stand with their constituents

(A flock of blackbirds supersaturated the trees surrounding the hospital at night. Painting the side walk white. Kind of scary.)

(Palo Duro Canyon : The family drove 12 hours one weekend to go outdooring, and it was beautiful! Can you believe that is Texas?)

(The dark spec is a wanna-be mountain man dashing over precipices and near death. He continues typing to this day)

(Me at 7,000 feet! My attending piloted a single prop down to College Station and brought me along.)

Thanks for reading and keeping up! Hopefully will see you, talk, or hear about you soon.