Thursday, March 20, 2008
Do You Need a Doctor? It better be for skin
Breaking News (that all of us in Medicine already knew)!!! Young doctors all want to be Dermatologists. Yes, there is a sudden overwhelming interest in skin, pores and hair after spending years in premed, medical school and residency. Taking care of the whole person? Doing a work up for abdominal pain and removing a sick appendix? Evaluating kidneys or hearts or thyroid glands? Arthritis, hypertension and headaches? Forget it!
It's skin that's in!
This is the week for the Residency match and the New York Times tells us that the most sought after residencies are Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Thank heavens there are only 320 new slots to fill in Derm or there would be no doctors left for anything else. The sad thing is that the Residents who don't get their first pick will be defaulted to other specialties and will be forced to take care of all of us when we are really sick. I don't know about you, but I kind of want my doctor to WANT to do Medicine...not have that be the last option.
Why is this occurring? The answer is lifestyle, money and prestige. Certain specialties are known as the R.O.A.D. to happiness. R.adiology, O.pthalmology, A.nesthesiology and D.ermatology. These specialties are in great demand by young doctors because they make money, have limited or no call and provide a nice lifestyle. Derm, like plastic surgery, and ENT has turned into a cash cosmetic business. Patients are always happy and no insurance hassles to deal with.
Our health care system is structured to get these results. Government interference and regulations, hassles, debt, malpractice, consumer apathy and entitlements have brought us to this point in time. Although I support universal health care for all, with the current system it will just create more burden on underfunded providers and hospitals.
I'm happy for the excited new doctors in training. I just hope there will be someone to take care of me and the other boomers as we hit Medicare age.
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