Healthcare Executives Need Big Compensation, And Big Results

“It’s stressful, dirty, hard work, and the burnout rate is high,” said Tom McNulty, a 19-year-old college student who volunteers for an ambulance corps outside Rochester. He told the New York Times that he finds it fulfilling, but that he would not make it a career: “Financially, it’s not feasible.”

Turns out the healthcare industry is staffed by some of the lowest as well as highest paid professionals in any business. The average staff nurse is paid about $61,000 a year, and an emergency medical technician earns just about minimum wage, for a yearly income of $27,000, according to the Compdata analysis.

Did you know that many medics work two or three jobs just to get by?

Read more

Apprehensive Doctors Shift From Private Practices Into Salaried Positions

According to the New York Times, “American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals.” This exodus is most severe in primary care, followed by specialists.

Read more

Kimmel Jumps On The Red Tape Bandwagon

Red Alert politics alerted us to this new Jimmy Kimmel sketch skewering Obamacare. We’re glad to know comedy has joined our crusade to get rid of tiresome bureaucracy, so doctors can focus on actual healthcare. Although, given the nature of comedy — the best humor is forward-thinking and offers social critique — healthcare has a long, long road ahead. At least certain public figures are pointing us in the right direction.

Preserving Doctors Means Preserving the Patient-Doctor Relationship

David Bornstein is making a career of empowering, thought-provoking articles on the emotional state of healthcare. In his New York Times op/ed “Medicine’s Search for Meaning” he advocates that as the patient-doctor relationship vanishes, so too will the doctors. He says, “Medicine is facing a crisis, but it’s not just about money; it’s about meaning.” Adding that, “As administrative and documentation burdens have exploded in the past three decades, doctors find themselves under pressure to work as quickly as possible. Many have found that what is sacrificed is the very thing that gives meaning to the whole undertaking: the patient-doctor relationship.”

Bornstein’s piece is powerful, weighing in on the manner with which we doctors handle grief. In his opinion, med school is where the doctor burnout is first felt. Students are pushed to absurd extremes–losing sleep, and being trained to approach medicine in a distant, compassion-less manner, even reprimanded if they break down and cry in the presence of a patient. So is it okay to cry in the presence of a patient? You have to decide for yourself. However, reprimanding a student for doing so is pure Vulcan, cold. But, according to Bernstein, almost half of medical students get burned out during their education. He claims that, “medical education has been characterized as an abusive and neglectful family system.” It places unrealistic expectations on students.

Read more

Rising Operating Costs Top List of Medical Practice Concerns

Rising Operating Costs Top List of Medical Practice Concerns

According to 1,067 medical practice executives, the most difficult daily challenge of running a medical office is dealing with rising operating costs. So says finding from a survey conducted by the MGMA-ACMPE (formerly the Medical Group Management Association-American College of Medical Practice Executives).

Read more

If People Were EMRs, We’d Be Doing A Whole Lot Better

If People Were EMRs, We’d Be Doing A Whole Lot Better

The Journal of General Internal Medicine has confirmed what we’ve been saying all along: Doctors spend more time with computers than they do with patients. Their new study lays out the cold hard fact that face time is down, and hours spent working on computers handily beat out patients. Here are the highlights from the research. Try not to twist your neck while you’re shaking your head.

Read more

Will Pagers Go The Way Of The Dodo? Not If Doctors Can Help It.

Will Pagers Go The Way Of The Dodo? Not If Doctors Can Help It.

In a new post on Fortune, writer Verne Kopytoff looks into the current state of pagers. At their heyday in the mid 90s, some 61 million of the devices were in use. But since then numbers have dwindled to around five or six million today, according to Ronald Gruia, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan. It’s an educated guess, though because Frost & Sullivan officially stopped tracking the pager market in 2006. That’s because of their admitted irrelevance.

Read more

LINKS: Rage Against The Healthcare Machine

h gilbert welchIn case you needed any more reasons to get incensed with healthcare’s exorbitant costs, The New York Times has you covered. First, you’ll want to read their piece about how ridiculously overpriced it is to have a baby in this country (“American Way Of Birth, Costliest In The World” via The New York Times).

According to the article, “Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.”

And that’s just the start. Read more