"The last thing I needed the first thing this morning was to have you walk out on me," sings Willie Nelson. I reflect on those words from time to time as I feel a sense of betrayal from one aspect of the health care system or another. Many other Family Physicians (FP's) feel some of the emptiness as they reflect on the "rock and hard place" forming the bookends for their potential demise.
Their patients are vulnerable to misleading health care marketing about the "scan of the month" or the "ultra-center of excellence" for one of their parts at the hospital. The money they need for survival is controlled by parties not aligned with their patients needs, maybe even their employer. If the employed FP's are pushed to see 24-28 patients every day, many patients are sent on for scans, tests or subspecialist evaluation who otherwise would be served by their Family Physician. This increases the overall cost of care and the profit for the healthcare system. Do employers understand that their local hospital is a "frenemy"?
How about it, Willie, would you write a song for Family Doctors and Family Medicine? What would the title be? "My Heroes Have Always Been Family Doctors" "Family Doctors Flying too close to the Ground" "We Tried, We Cared, We Faded" "Unsustainable" "I'm Using My Last Tongue Blade" "Stethoscope for Sale" "We Love You More When We Get Your Copay" "Don't Drop Your Copay on the Ground" "Too Much Debt to Fight" "We Didn't See it Coming" "Would the Last Patient Please Turn Out the Lights?"
What titles can you think of for Willie to write for Family Medicine?