Tuesday, February 26, 2008

USA Today, Years Behind MDOD.

USA Today Headlines . They don't do a bad job with this story, but I disagree that with a few tweaks here and there that this is an easy fix.


  1. From the article: "However, Fischer says there's "a perfect storm" forming for a shortage of doctors and surgeons because of the time it takes to train doctors — typically three to seven years — and the fact that the number of senior citizens in the USA is growing rapidly."

    Um...I thought it was 7-15 years?

    Med school, 4 years.
    Residency, 3-7 years.
    Fellowship 1-4? years?

  2. Pretty good story. Especially for McPaper.

    I'm glad that at the same time they point out that a seasoned surgeon can make $300K a year, they also point out that it's a 24/7 job to do it. They also mention that few people are willing to work like that anymore. In my opinion it's dangerous. I don't want someone cutting on me who hasn't had a good night's sleep.

    Though the article does point out the results of med school enrollment limitations, it neglects to point out the bigger problem which was when Medicare under the Clinton Administration cut back funding for Graduate Medical Education. Their rationale was that if they limited the number of subspecialty spots, more people would chose primary care. That was of course, absurd. They didn't substantially increase the number of PCP's, and they ended up critically limiting the number of specialists.

    This is even one more example of why government regulation of medicine is so frought with peril. Politicians seldom accurately predict the long range affects of their decisions, nor do they care. They're looking for immediate gratification and promises of utopia to voters.

    Now we enter the debate over Universal Healthcare. Every American should enter this debate with their eyes wide open.

  3. Anon:

    Med School is 4 years

    Residency varies from 3 years for Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and most Radiology programs to 5 years for General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, and Urology. Some Neurosurgery programs are 8 to 9 years.

    A Fellowship is a special training done after residency. For example Cardiology, Hematology, and Gastroenterology are 2 years AFTER Internal Medicine is completed. Vascular Surgery and Colorectal Surgery are 2 years AFTER General Surgery is completed.

    So not everyone needs to do a Fellowship.

    From completing College to Finishing a General Surgery residency and being ready to go into practice is a minimum of 9 years.

    I'll add one thing from my previous post. One reason that Emergency Medicine draws so many folks is the lifestyle (once you do it for a while, it isn't so attractive as your world changes from nights to days and back again), but it does give you finite work hours, and you can schedule around family time and events.

  4. 85,
    you are, of course, correct. i'm just happy it's in the mcpaper and realtively favorably disposed to docs. in the midst of clinton-care part 1 i was in the miltary and facing the proposition that if her stuff passed that she would be telling me what i could and could not do for residency training. my answer would have been to stay right where i was or to get out of medicine entirely. with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, that's how mad i was at her and her social engineering. even though i'm glad to see her get a whuppin' at anyone's hands, i'm now scared of the obama-gasm!

  5. I agree. I know Hillary is a vapid vile powercrazed political animal. She's in favor of capitalism when it allows her to stuff two mansions full of furniture, but against it when it allows people like me (who she calls rich) to make a reasonable income. Of course, I make less per year than her husband charges for a single speech in Dubai.

    I have no idea what Obama really stands for. His rhetoric is so vague that it's impossible to pin him down. So far he's promised over 1 trillion dollars of new entitlements but not proposed a single budget cut.

    The glassy-eyed school girls and media who follow him around and swoon on his every vacuous word make me ill. I can't stand these idiotic pundits calling him "a rock star". Near as I can tell, he's a phenomenon of ignorance on the part of voters who don't demand more from a candidate than empty or nice sounding but impossible promises.

    Still, Hillary is a known evil. On March 4th, I'm voting for Obama as are many people I know just to try and put an end to her campaign.

    A recent Rasmussen poll said that approximately 25% of those who voted for Obama were actually just voting in the Democrat Primary to vote AGAINST Hillary. Sign me up!

  6. In 1983 the Assistant Dean of my medical school told a bunch of Pre-med students that by the late 80's there would be a surplus of 100,000 physicians in the U.S. Forget about the Dermatology residency, you were gonna be lucky just to find a job. Of course, this was the guy who had no idea what "Call" was.

  7. 85, I know where you live and I WILL come kick your ass if you vote for Obama over Hillary in the primary!!.
    McClain can beat Hillary, but not Hussien. No man, (sorry rad girl, Lynn and other female readers), in his right mind will ever vote for Hillary. I don't care for McClain, but I sure as hell know Hussien has nothing but BAD on his mind for the old US of A
    As always..Oldfart

  8. Fart: I've been writing your name for President since 1992. What a wonderful world that would be!

    Last night on Hannity & Colmes, they had a group of Dems assembled to watch the debate. They asked about 8 people on the front row who were supporting Obama "What accomplishments of Obama would make him a good President?"

    The first guy says "I don't know".
    The second guy says "winning a Senate race".
    The third, forth, and fifth say "I don't know".
    The sixth (a black woman) says "He's the first African American to make it this far". The followup question was "So it's a racial issue?" She had no answer and looked confused.
    The 7th said "I don't know".
    The 8th said "He has good ideas".

    I can only hope that when Obama is exposed for the empty rhetoric guy that he is, his support will erode. I hope I'm not too optimistic about the intelligence of the American voting public.

  9. 85, you're still my favorite..