Healthcare Reform: The doc is in!…sort of….

I’m typing this with the faintest hint of drool in the corner of my mouth as the Moose is in the kitchen preparing Chicken Marsala and the aroma is nearly intoxicating…Lil Bit has been growing leaps and bounds recently. Thanks to the beautiful soul at the magical world of Disney who developed Doc McStuffins, my sweetheart has been using one of her 3 medical kits to give her dolls (and Buzz Lightyear, a family fave) a check-up. She says “I have diagnosis” and holds one chubby little index finger midair in exaggerated proclamation.

I wish I could share the same enthusiasm when I “have a diagnosis” at work. Don’t get me wrong, I love the kids who I am lucky enough to be able to provide care for, it’s the faceless entity through which I am employed (who is also under the oppressive thumb of a separate, faceless entity called the Healthcare Reform Act) that is sucking the joy out of my practice. It’s not just me either…if you haven’t picked up a paper lately, many primary care private practices are closing down and either encompassing hospital-owned practice or working at urgent cares? For the ones staying open and the hospital practices, more patients are being filtered through with a focus on the quantity versus the quality. It’s a little dismal to me right now. Can you really honestly say that you “saw” or were able to listen to, diagnose, treat and educate 30-40 primary care practice patients per day? So why am I name-shaming the faceless entities? Trickle down effect folks, trickle down….healthcare reform act=less reimbursement from Medicaid, medicare, tricare and higher copays from private insurances keeping those patients away as well=less money for hospitals=either A) see more patients or B) people lose jobs.  I realize that this is a very simplified version of events but it’s real and discouraging for a new provider who during my clinical rotations saw 15-20 patients per day with the majority of them feeling satisfied  that someone listened to them and with me as their provider feeling I had given them good care.

I’m giving it my year, but I have to say I’m a little disappointed that some of the “dream” in my dream job is less ethereal than I imagined. Maybe I just need a trip to Disney (again) to renew some of my childish enthusiasm, good thing we are going in May for a weekend, maybe I’ll come back feeling as cheery as the “Doc” when she cures her toys of “stuffinemia” and like “illnesses”.  🙂



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