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Ear to the Ground

The Doctors Are Turning Left

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Posted on May 30, 2011
Flickr / wenzday01

While medical doctors are a historically conservative bunch, many physicians are beginning to lean left as they abandon the high costs and responsibilities associated with running private practices to take salaried jobs in hospitals, doctors’ advocates say.

The shift is encouraging. It is evidence that one’s politics can be a function largely of immediate working conditions, which can be altered. —ARK

The New York Times:

Doctors were once overwhelmingly male and usually owned their own practices. They generally favored lower taxes and regularly fought lawyers to restrict patient lawsuits. Ronald Reagan came to national political prominence in part by railing against “socialized medicine” on doctors’ behalf.

But doctors are changing. They are abandoning their own practices and taking salaried jobs in hospitals, particularly in the North, but increasingly in the South as well. Half of all younger doctors are women, and that share is likely to grow.

There are no national surveys that track doctors’ political leanings, but as more doctors move from business owner to shift worker, their historic alliance with the Republican Party is weakening from Maine as well as South Dakota, Arizona and Oregon, according to doctors’ advocates in those and other states.

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By online_doctor, January 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

I wonder what is contributing to the shifting of the political ideology of the doctors. While it may be that they are looking less at earnings from running their own private practices and more towards the salaried jobs in hospitals, it still does not give a proper reason to why they want to do that.

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By zonth_zonth, June 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

Ha,
idiots.

“dont throw your pearls before pigs, lest they stomp them under their hooves than turn on you.”

Surgeons, Doctors saving your ill, overweight, metabolic syndrome, psychologic, depressive DSMV4, entitlement etc, etc

and yet you still sue them and turn on them in sniffling, chicken hearted blogs.

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By MarthaA, May 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze, May 31 at 11:46 am,

Believe it or not, that was a Mao Tse-tung tactic.

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By mrfreeze, May 31, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

MarthaA - Thanks for your comment. The problem is (IMO), the medical field is producing “fewer” general physicians because more and more graduates are opting for “specialties.” The system seems to drive a mercenary fervor in graduates because they stand to make a lot of money. Soon there won’t be any doctors who even care about the Hippocratic Oath. They will, instead, worship at the altar of the “capitalistic oath.”

In my world, ALL doctors would be required to spend several years in general practice (possibly in places they DON’T like) in order to season them and ensure that they’re in the right profession.

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By MarthaA, May 31, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, May 30 at 7:50 pm,

“A couple of years ago on NPR I heard about a small group of
“entrepreneurial” doctors whose sole purpose was to run a
“profitable” business. Arrogant to the point of absurdity, I couldn’t
believe my ears listening to their fucking self-righteous, entitled,
frat-boy attitudes about all the sacrifices they made, all the loans
they needed to pay back and how, basically, delivering health care
was all about them rather than their patients.” — mrfreeze,
May 30 at 7:50 pm

Sounds like these doctors you’re talking about could care less about
their Hippocratic Oath; I doubt seriously any of these doctors will go
into socialized medical care preferring to stay in private practice,
which is good, because reprobate, profit driven only, doctors would be
a hazard to
society.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 31, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, May 30 at 7:50 pm,

“A couple of years ago on NPR I heard about a small group of
“entrepreneurial” doctors whose sole purpose was to run a
“profitable” business. Arrogant to the point of absurdity, I couldn’t
believe my ears listening to their fucking self-righteous, entitled,
frat-boy attitudes about all the sacrifices they made, all the loans
they needed to pay back and how, basically, delivering health care
was all about them rather than their patients.” — mrfreeze,
May 30 at 7:50 pm

Sounds like these doctors you’re talking about could care less about
their Hippocratic Oath; I doubt seriously any of these doctors will go
into socialized medical care preferring to stay in private practice,
which is good, because reprobate doctors would be a hazard to
society.

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By Joe Zeigler, May 31, 2011 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Hopefully, something is changing though I lack confidence.  I’ve had some enlightening experiences with our medical system this last year and a half.  Too many to enumerate here.  So, I will focus on the cost not the quality.  In January 2010 I had a back operation.  The hospital bill, for twenty-four hours in the hospital, was $149,621.25.  That was the hospital bill not the doctor’s bill.  In November I experienced chest pain and went to the emergency room.  That was $60,000 for forty-five minutes, not including the doctor’s bill. 

My neighbor recently went to an emergency room with chest pains.  The cost of determining that the pain was caused by acid reflux was $10,000.

It’s nice that doctors are becoming more liberal.  But, as a society, we can not continue to pay these bills. 

There is some good news.  I recently went to Mayo Clinic.  The first day I met the doctor.  The next day and a half were spent doing every test imaginable.  The fourth day was another doctor appointment.  The total bill (before insurance) came to $2,200 - less than 25% of what the local emergency room charged my neighbor to tell him that he was not having a heart attack.

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By mrfreeze, May 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

A couple of years ago on NPR I heard about a small group of “entrepreneurial” doctors whose sole purpose was to run a “profitable” business. Arrogant to the point of absurdity, I couldn’t believe my ears listening to their fucking self-righteous, entitled, frat-boy attitudes about all the sacrifices they made, all the loans they needed to pay back and how, basically, delivering health care was all about them rather than their patients.

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve noticed that whilst everyone else in the U.S. has been forced to become “more productive” and work for less, this cannot be said for the health care industry….Doctors and nurses certainly do deserve just compensation for the hard work they do; however, if the rest of us aren’t doing as well, why should they???????

This article did give me a tinge of schadenfreude.

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By MarthaA, May 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Wonderful, hopefully they will continue to turn Left where doctors will
be able to objectively follow their Hippocratic Oaths. 
Conservatism threw the Hippocratic Oath away,
except subjectively.

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