Doctorates are popping up all over the health professions, and the result is a quiet battle over not only the title “doctor,” but also the money, power and prestige that often comes with it.
As more nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists claim this honorific, physicians are fighting back……many physicians are suspicious and say that once tens of thousands of nurses have doctorates, they will invariably seek more prescribing authority and more money. Otherwise, they ask, what is the point?
Dr. Roland Goertz, the board chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says that physicians are worried that losing control over “doctor,” a word that has defined their profession for centuries, will be followed by the loss of control over the profession itself. — NYTimes
Let’s start with the fact that what doctors are complaining about here amounts to their colleagues becoming better educated. They’re unhappy that the pharmacists, nurses, and therapists with whom they work to care for their patients find it worthwhile to improve their understanding of their chosen professions.
Naturally, the M-Deities don’t see it this way. They see it as a power grab and an income booster that will, they fear, arrive at their expense. “Otherwise, they ask, what is the point?” They don’t see the implicit value of self-improvement and furthering one’s education in any other terms. That says something ugly about them as well.
But the absolute bestest is the line about losing control over the profession itself.
These are the white-coated professionals who waved a matching white flag when the insurance companies steadily assumed not just administrative and financial control over their every action, but medical authority as well. They surrendered their profession on the promise of greater income, and discovered they’d essentially bartered away their practices and autonomy as well. Quickly followed by their integrity. That’s where we are today.
In one of my many drug-crazed, in-your-face conversations during my cancer treatments, I asked one of my physicians when the practice of medicine and patient care had been subjugated to the control of distant insurance carriers. Now somewhere in his early 40s, he said in his experience it has always been this way, although he was unaware of its extent when he planned his career. “I don’t know that I would have changed my plans,” he said. “But I do know it’s a lot less rewarding and meaningful than I’d anticipated.”
It’s easy to blame lawyers for this, specifically the ones providing counsel to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but the medical profession failed completely to uphold its own standards. Now they’re whining about professionals they consider their underlings advancing their education and careers. Nice. Smart. Classy.
Physician, heal thyself. And shut up.