Dr. Feelbad

  1. 0
    This 3 page article seeks to explain why MDs are unionizing. The first 2 pages are all about their salaries! Why is it that MDs have no problem talking about money as THE issue but nurses will not stand up for themselves if money IS an issue & will slam other nurses who do???

    Doctor Feelbad
    New York Magazine
    Aug 2001 -

    "Time was when doctors were at the pinnacle of our society -- with the Mercedeses and country places such status merited. Now, buried under paperwork, their income chiseled by HMOs, their power and independence eroded, they feel like any other employee. It's enough to make you sick...... "Doctors are lumped in with hospital colleagues as "health-care providers," which rankles them. "I'm no health-care provider," says one, sounding like McCoy on Star Trek. "I'm a doctor."........ But "I don't have any clout." Insurance companies have clout, institutions have clout, even patients have some. And so, just like any disgruntled worker, doctors -- doctors ! -- are turning to unions. "We get more calls than we can handle these days: otolaryngology groups, orthopedists, groups that used to be fat and happy," says Bruce Elwell, an organizer for the Doctors
    Council, which is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, the same organization that, it's worth noting, represents hospital maintenance workers. Lately, Dr. Fox, the Scarsdale otolaryngologist and lifelong Republican, has become an organizer himself. Fox has signed on with the AMA's newly formed union -- he's on the board. "The anger is still with me," he says by way of explanation, because........."


    "Vacations? Are you kidding?" Mark Fox is a physician.... he used to take vacations. "Every winter and every summer," .......summer vacations disappeared....His income dropped 25 percent in one recent year.....Dr. Bernard Schayes, a 43-year-old internist on the Upper East Side,.....he lived around the corner from
    the office....he had two kids and private-school bills of $30,000 a year,a Mercedes and a Jaguar. He earned upwards of $300,000 a year. Then his income dropped. "There's no way to live in the city anymore," he says. He moved to Roslyn, Long Island, where his children attend public school and he drives an Acura. "The general population decided we weren't worth all that much," says Dr. Bernard Schayes. Or, as he sometimes puts it, "people decided they wanted us to drive Acuras." .....


    Not long ago, doctors had it all... and didn't have to worry about money: They earned tons. They regularly visited the Mercedes dealership. They island-hopped on vacation. They owned the best real estate. Their kids went to private schools. Everybody wanted to marry a doctor. Or be one. No longer. Insurance companies have ganged up on them....Now, announces the New England Journal of Medicine, "many American doctors are unhappy with the quality of their professional lives." feeling "increasing marginalization," "discontent," "confused," "angry," "insulted." (Is it any wonder med-school applications are down again this year?) Yes, the doctor is in, but in case you haven't noticed, there's a good chance he's seething. "It's no fun being a doctor anymore," is the way one puts it......

    These days, after eight years of training, a 30-year-old pediatrician can expect to earn $95,000.
    Starting internists probably earn $100,000 to $110,000. Not bad, perhaps. But in comparison, the first year at one of the city's better law firms -- that's after just three years of law school -- will bring you close to $150,000. "And I can be on vacation and I'm stil always available to my lawyer friends," points out Adam Stracher, an internist at Cornell Medical Center. "And THEY have secretaries. THEY have expense accounts. You think WE get tickets to Knicks games from our firm??"......

    ......doctors earn about $160,000 on average, Last year, Schayes, an M.D. approaching the height of his earning power, earned about $120,000 -- which doesn't come close to buying what people once thought of as the M.D. lifestyle. Soon, Schayes figures, his wife will have to go back to work. She hasn't worked in five years while the kids grow up. "She doesn't want to, but I'm making her," says Schayes. "Besides, she's a lawyer. Her earning potential is greater than mine.".......

    From now on, doctors will be employees like everyone else. Just 4 percent of new doctors in New York say they plan to open their own practices. As an employee, the doctor has a fixed retirement age and a set lunch hour .....As employees, a lot of physicians won't have secretaries anymore, not their own anyhow. At
    Mount Sinai, specialists who once had assistants now have answering machines. Yes, there's a receptionist, a billing department. But they work for the administration, just like the doctor. "I can't hire or fire secretaries," explained one specialist at Montefiore. "I have no control over staff." Sure, you can always write up a secretary for misbehavior, but then a receptionist can write you up, too. "If we say one wrong thing, they go to
    the compliance office," said one doctor who was reported for raising her voice. "Apparently, I have to be on perfect behavior."

    (ohhhhhhhh poor thing! The hospital is making her treat the "lower class" with respect. tsk tsk tsk)

    full article at: http://www.nymag.com/page.cfm?page_id=5044&position=1
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    <<<Not long ago, doctors had it all... and didn't have to worry about money: They earned tons. They regularly visited the Mercedes dealership. They island-hopped on vacation. They owned the best real estate. Their kids went to private schools. Now "many American doctors are unhappy with the quality of their professional lives." feeling "increasing marginalization," "discontent," "confused," "angry," "insulted." (Is it any wonder med-school applications are down again this year?) Yes, the doctor is in, but in case you haven't noticed, there's a good chance he's
    seething. "It's no fun being a doctor anymore,">>>


    Sounds familiar?? Lots of nurses feel the same way & they never had the tons of money or vacations or private schools. Nurses are feeling this way because while they MDs are unhappy about missing their higher salaries & vacations, we are out there being forced into working ungodly #s of hrs, working short staffed, vulernable to making mistakes, in unsafe conditions, & in environments that risk our own health - all for insufficient salaries & dismal benefits - if any benefits at all. Yet in this entire article the only mention of nurses is this:


    "everything in health care revolved around physicians. They were king of the hill." Accordingly, they were treated in a kingly fashion. Every 50-year-old nurse remembers fetching coffee for a doctor, giving up her chair so he could sit down. The hidden curriculum of medical school is that the doctor is the
    decision-maker, the brain, the star. But these days, most doctors are just another member of the team. Teamwork is emphasized. Health care is thought to be a system, not something one person does to another. And so doctors have got a new title: health-care provider, a category that includes nurses and lab techs. That alone drives doctors crazy. It's like a demotion. "I'm no health-care provider," says one NYU doc testily, sounding like
    McCoy from Star Trek. "I'm a doctor."
    http://www.nymag.com/page.cfm?page_id=5044&position=2
  5. 0
    somehow I dont feel sorry for these guys at all.

    BTW, how come the rules of supply & demand can apply to the them - they blame their loss of power on the fact that there are too many MDs in this country (so now will try to limit new student enrollments so they can create a shortage & regain the upper hand) - but they help the hospitals to RESIST applying the same supply & demand rules to nurses? At our hospital, MDs were very vocal in pressuring the administration to avoid increasing wages as a recruitment/retention incentive because "RNs should not be earning more than interns & residents". They lost out on that but they did try hard to stab us in the back & keep an "appropriate salary difference" between experienced RNs & new MDs (whatever that may be). Some even said "over our dead bodies will RNs here be paid $75,000/yr when residents dont even make that much!!" (never bothering to recognize that that would have been an RN with 20 yrs experience & a resident hasnt even started yet.) They lost. We won. But they have some nerve complaining about supply & demand:


    "Of course, one reason employers can treat doctors this way is simple: There are too many of them. Doctors traditionally gained power by controlling supply and demand. No longer. In the past ten years, the number of docs has increased by 30 percent. (That doesn't even include physician assistants or nurse practitioners, who sometimes run independent medical offices. "In the future your doctor may be a nurse" is the warning issued by the American Nurses Association.) And as far as demand goes, doctors have never been overly worried about bringing in new groups of patients (like the 40 ******* uninsured Americans)......."

    http://www.nymag.com/page.cfm?page_id=5044&position=3
  6. 0
    MY HEART JUST BEATS PURPLE PARROT PEE FOR THESE WHINING DOCTORS!!!!!!!!!
    Wonder if that doctor's wife has ever heard of Wal-Mart??????
    We need to get our ducks in a row and rock the health care system right off of it's doctor loving a$$.

  7. 0
    How is this guy going to "make his wife" go back to work?
  8. 0
    Havent you heard?? Hes a DOCTOR........

    "the doctor is the decision-maker, the brain, the star....the King of the Hill..."


    <New York debuts Tough Medicine, a column by Joanne Kaufman that will explore issues on the minds of both medical practitioners and patients in the changing world of health care in the city. >
    http://www.NYmag.com

    I think they'll be hearing from nurses on this one.


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