The Value of a Doctor

2799 Words12 Pages
Final Research Paper – The Value of a Doctor In recent years, greater and greater emphasis has been placed on meeting the demands of the growing population. In regards to the American health care system, the nature of medicine is shifting from treating the individual to the management of many patients, resulting in physicians influenced to be more focused on curing the disease than healing the patient. In order to follow the expectations of the progressively mechanized medical system, these doctors are more and more pressured to limit the time with each patient to maximize efficiency. The increasing compartmentalization of a physician’s time has changed the occupational structure of the field, and has consequently depersonalized patient care, compromised the original ideals for wanting to become a doctor, and diminished the value of a physician’s work. The fact that medicine is becoming more specialized is clear. In his book, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, surgeon Atul Gawande reflects on this change, “Twenty-five years ago, general surgeons performed hysterectomies, removed lung cancers, and bypassed hardened leg arteries. Today, each condition has its specialist, who perform one narrow set of procedures over and over again” (Gawande, 38) . One study showed that a growing proportion of primary care physicians reported referring more patients to specialists: in 2001, 25.5% of primary care physicians said they had referred more patients to specialists in the past two years, compared with 17.8% in 1997. This increase in specialized care reflects the overarching trend of increased efficiency in the health care system. Narrowing the scope of focus when diagnosing or performing a procedure allows the spe... ... middle of paper ... ...The New England journal of medicine 359 (2008): 2748-2751. 7 Apr. 2009 . Collier, Virginia U., Jack D. McCue, Allan Markus, and Lawrence Smith. "Stress in Medical Residency: Status Quo after a Decade of Reform?" Annals of Internal Medicine 5th ser. 136 (2002): 384. Perspective. 5 Mar. 2002. American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine. 24 Apr. 2009 . Mukherjee, Siddhartha. " Becoming a Physician: A Precarious Exachange" The New England journal of medicine 351 (2004): 1822-1824. 25 Apr. 2009 < http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/351/18/1822.pdf> PRWeb. "Physician Burnout and Stress Now Reaching Critical Levels." Press release. Press Release Newswire. 12 Apr. 2007. PRWeb. 25 Apr. 2009 .
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