Some men wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called work.
Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands: this is called trade.
Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called finance.
This old British epigram was quoted by John C.Bogle, founder of Vanguard group.
From my experience I would add fourth statement:
Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called government.
Each next group is being fed by work of the previous one.
So where we doctors fit in this scenario? We together with lawyers, teachers, engineers, accountants and clergy are professionals and in service business. We don’t create goods, we bail people out of trouble. I recently calculated amount of money I received from the surgical procedure I did in a hospital. After subtracting office overhead, federal and state taxes it came down to less than 20% of original amount fee paid by insurance company. It’s not good, not bad, just the way it is.
And nobody is willing to listen to doctors complaining about it.
3 thoughts on “Place of doctors in society”
Soooo true. Thank you for the post.
Unfortunately many people still have an inflated view of physicians as people who live in huge, multi-million dollar homes in exclusive gated communities, driving expensive exotic cars, and having days off during the week to play golf or go sailing. What they don’t understand are the many years of expensive education, with many having large educational loans to pay off when they start practicing medicine or the fact that insurance companies usually do not pay fee-for-service rates, but at a much reduced payment schedule. Physicians have to comply with more and more regulations, most often at a cost to their bottom line. It’s no wonder that so many new physicians are looking for positions like Kaiser where they get a salary without the headache of office overhead, malpractice insurance, and excessive work hours.
Thanks Mary Ann. Obviously you know what you are talking about. If one is studying to be a doctor in hope to get rich, he or she may be disappointed. This is still one of and may be the most rewarding professions in the world, but for different reasons. It gives you a chance to interact with people and moreover opportunity to help. We always influence peoples lives, mostly for good,sometimes for bad. Is it why emotional bond is so strong.
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