Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sideline Money, Sideline Docs.

Talk to an investment guy, talk to a real estate gal, talk to a banker and you will hear that there's scads of money 'on the sidelines' pending the election. Conventional wisdom amongst most of the money folks is that a Romney win will be a quick and clear signal for people to invest again in the private sector. I hope it's true. It feels true.

But there is something no one is talking about, and that's the 'sideline doctors'. Every single physician in this country is watching this election with keen interest. For many it will be the deciding factor in whether they practice to retirement or they retire early and cut back on work  (under Obamacare).

Academic physicians are the only ones I have met who are consistently FOR Obamacare. The ones who will be honest with me are scary statists, and I would dearly love to punch them in the nose. It is, I think, the only thing they would understand.

So just like with investments, real estate, and finance in general, medicine also has TONS of it's resources now 'on the sidelines'. Hard to plan for the future when you don't know what the rules will be. Hard to start a practice, much less build one, when you aren't sure what Obamacare will mean to your bottom line. Hard to commit to the hardest profession in the world when it might mean that you work for a government flunkie (with a G.E.D.) reading from a manual, and lecturing you about compassion and diversity. Again, punching in the face seems one's only option here and doctors are averse, as a rule, to going to re-education camps.

In all seriousness. If Romney wins and Obamacare is scrapped then I predict the following.

1. The impending doctor shortage will be averted by physicians choosing to continue practice, or return to practice. Also, applications to medical schools will boom.
2. Research and development of new treatments and drugs will take off.
3. Many who are now choosing to become Physician Assistants may reconsider and go to medical school.
4. The left will have a seizure.

Because of # 4 above and because there is a large portion (20% ?) of citizens and illegal aliens who will continue to favor beer, cigarettes, and cell phones over health insurance,  I think Romney will have to replace it with something.

But that something, while it will no doubt have it's problems, will not turn the great American health care system into the N.H.S., or Brazil.

Go Mitt


  1. Had a first year Med Student in my "Office" the other day.
    We talked about 1st year experiences, Gross Anatomy, the White Coat, being called Doctor, Pawning your TV for gas money...
    Just kidding.
    We didn't get white coats until THIRD year.
    And then I gave him $30 for his shitty 32 inch Vizeo, which corrected for inflation, is less than I got for my shitty 19 inch Magnavox.
    And as he drove off, I spotted the "O" bumper sticker, and thought to myself.
    "Dammit, I should have only gave him $20"

    Frank "thats DR Shylock" Drackman

  2. Hmm, I seem to have a problem finding my really tiny violin. I swear it was around here somewhere....

    Sorry, but medicine is hardly the "hardest profession in the world". Your training isn't that much harder or longer than PhD programs, pretty much guarantees work at completion (unlike those other fields), and pays really well compared to those other fields. If you want a specific example, think Chemistry.

    Second, there is no doctor shortage. We have plenty of doctors. There are shortages of certain types of doctors and doctors in certain areas.

    Third, if you want more doctors, there is no shortage of students applying to medical school (see the stats). However, I don't see those schools accepting more students (unlike the vet and pharmacy schools).

    Don't give me the excuse that there are no "slots" or that the government won't pay for it. You don't get to complain about government interference and then demand money from it without being called a hypocrite. After all, if there is a shortage and it isn't being filled by the market, maybe there really isn't one of either.

    I doubt doctors will do anything other than whine. It's a pretty good gig. Not as good as it used to be but still quite good. And in the end, the only way to reduce costs in the system is to reduce unneeded use of the system. Less use of the system means less income for everyone. That includes doctors. I would have thought this was obvious.


  3. Anonymous....
    Do us all a favor....when you need a doctor.....be sure to ask for a PhD in chemistry.....it is all the same to you ...right?????

  4. Anon 12:40 please retire that old saw. And depending on some of the docs I know, I might fare better with the PhD in chemistry.

  5. #4moreyearswhining.

  6. Anonymous. 3:40 PM
    Whining by whom? Just curious as to the vague reference.

  7. Anon 3:40, listening to the docs whine about how terrible their jobs are, how hard it is, how they can't make any money, the patients are terrible, ad nauseum.
    It just is surprising to me how naive people were going into medicine. It's like a minister who is just shocked he has a congregation of sinners. Correct me if I'm wrong but an average ER salary of $250, 000 is not a bad compensation.
    And , yes, Ocare is uncharted waters. But move forward. The present system isn't working.
    Just so you know, I am an a nurse and my father was a doc.
    The " Go Mitt" really slayed me. This from a man who said we have a healthcare system delivery in place...just go to the ER. The very thing that drives you guys nuts.
    I just don't get it.

  8. Thought salaries were not that high anymore....can any docs give ballpark salary lines that are happening today? Salaries before taxes. Thanks

  9. That’s great I am also looking for some instruction for sideline docs and finally I got this article which helps me to rich my knowledge about sideline docs. Thanks for this post.

  10. I don't have anything to say, just wanted to join the crowd with an anonymous comment with no real content. ;)

    -an old friend who misses the height of med blogs