Danielle Ofri, M.D., in her essay “Just a regular doctor,” writes:
“To me, primary care and specialty care are equally demanding. They perhaps represent different types of intellectual challenges, but there’s no reason for one to be thought of as more worthy of respect (or pay).
“Primary care doctors, the generalists, won’t be likely to achieve parity in pay or respect until the economics of American medicine changes drastically to reflect more realistically the needs of our patients. Right now, the system values procedures far more than talking to the patient, and so generalists — who do far fewer procedures — continue to rank at the bottom.
“But generalists can take heart in the fact that they are what people usually have in mind when they say that they need a doctor. So now when people ask what my specialty is, I say that I’m just a regular doctor. Though I try to remember to leave out the ‘just.”’
To read her entire essay, please hit this link.
That’s because of physicians’ satisfactions from their continued close relationship with their parents.
Dr. Ofri notes:
“A new study by the Physicians Foundation of more than 1,500 patients found that more than 90 percent of patients were satisfied with their relationship with their primary care doctor. They felt that their doctors were respectful of them, listened well, explained well, and had a good understanding of their medical history.
“On the surface, this seems to contradict the dyspeptic view of medicine we hear about in the media. But it actually reflects the larger truth that most patient rancor is directed not toward the doctor but to the bureaucratic aspects of medicine — the cost, the hassle, the opaqueness. On the whole, patients are happy with the medical care they receive from their primary-care doctors — once they’ve slogged through the seven circles of pre-authorization purgatory to get there.”
To read all of Dr. Ofri’s essay, please hit this link.