The Supreme Doctors
Its hard to find fault with the authors of the Constitution of the United States. Even in retrospect they did an amazing job outlining in a few pages the structure of a government that has been successful for over two hundred years. Its hard to blame them for a lack of emphasis on health care in the organization of the new country. The people of 1787 cared no less about health than we do, but had pitifully few tools to use. Only primitive knowledge was available about sanitation, disease and nutrition. Health care consisted of a few basic items; a varied diet, fresh air, water, and sanitation. The humoral theory of disease was still in vogue (it was 1881 when Louis Pasteur established the germ theory of illness). Government involvement in health care consisted of only a few people caring for sick and injured sailors. The Public Health Service would evolve from this agency but much later in the history of our country.
Resident Work Limits: Solving the Wrong Problem
There is no question that a medical education is a rigorous experience with tough mental and physical challenges. The training period is great preparation for the real world life of a physician. Working long hours compacts years of experience into the training period. There is also no question that many physicians in training are chronically fatigued and overtaxed beyond the point of diminished performance. No one can argue with the adverse effects of fatigue on performance. Experts point out the impressive safety record achieved by the airline industry that limits pilots to about 80 flight hours a month. In an effort to combat the negative effects of fatigue on the training experience, academic medicine has now limited physicians in training to 30 consecutive work hours and an 80-hour workweek.
The Neurosurgeon's of Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County is a great place to live and many of the best doctors in America have come here to practice medicine. It has also attracted some of the countries most skilled malpractice attorneys.
Neurosurgeons are considered by their colleagues to be the “Green Berets” of medicine. They have one of the longest training programs in medicine, and perform some of the most technically difficult surgery. Neurosurgeons frequently operate against long odds for success.
Doctor or Health Care Provider
After watching a government hearing on health care, it is apparent many people now equate a doctor with a health care provider. Indeed, bureaucracy has forced most of us to function as health care providers even though we are trained to be doctors. The following points may help everyone remember the difference.