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  • #46
    eldrick's answer to bambam gets at the reality that the number of doctors that are trained in a country will directly affect the availability of medical services and also the price (and thus the providers' income). If the medical profession cared about serving the public properly, it would get the system changed so that there would be enough medical graduates each year to asssure an adequate supply of MD's to serve the public without intolerable waits for appointments or for doctors to keep their appointments.

    If you look at lawyers, you'll see a model of how it can be done. Law schools have almost infinite capacities. And in the US, they generate more graduates than are needed to do the useful work that lawyers are required to do. As a result, many people with law degrees choose to leave the field. But that's ok--why should these be professions be exempt from the laws of supply and demand? They shouldn't.

    Physicians generally make more than law dudes, but they do so largely because the artificial shortage that they tolerate and even encourage suits their economic interest. But they do not serve the public as well as they could if they allowed the training of more people to practice their profession, thus increasing the availability of needed services so that people did not have to beg for appointments or sit for hours waiting for overbooked providers to spare them a few minutes of their time.

    As a law dude, I would suggest to bambam and his colleagues that they follow my profession's example and open their doors a bit. I assure you that good law dudes can make a very good living. The best can charge dearly for their services. Others charge more modestly and earn less. But nobody ever complained about having to wait two months to see a competent lawyer. And any lawyer who kept clients waiting in his/her waiting room for hours would soon have that problem solved by the exodus of clients.

    Edited to correct typo.

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    • #47
      Let me try to answer some Law Dude's comments.

      The shortage of physicians is relative. There are areas with shortages, some others are overserved. All one has to do is look at listings of available physicians looking for employment. Some parts of the country, certain cities seem most desirable, some less, some need not apply.
      There is also a gross disparity in the availability of certain specialties, some are lacking, while others are in abandunce. The push toward primary care that started about 40 years ago and still persists (erroneous, IMHO), has created shortages of many specialists that in some areas is horrible.

      Comparison of lawyers and physicians as to the wait time is not quite fair. With the few exceptions, even a busy lawyer's schedule is elective. By-and-large they are not constantly interrupted by phone calls from colleagues, ER, ICU nurses, they hardly ever have to disrupt their schedule by add-ons etc. Let me add that the physicians that have exclusively or near-exclusively office based practices should be able to maintain their schedule equally well.
      "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
      by Thomas Henry Huxley

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      • #48
        I am a simpleton so bear with me. I think fewer people have what it takes to be a doctor or nurse than lawyers.

        Lawyers deal with paper and money and yes people's lives but not their life (unless they defend murderers..but you get what I mean I hope).
        While it would be nice to have more doctoris who are excellent at what they do but I'd rather have fewer it means someone like me could get in to the profession!

        Tafnut will be able to decipher this.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by mojo
          Tafnut will be able to decipher this.
          I ran that through a web-based mojo-to-English translator and got this:

          "I'd prefer fewer, smarter doctors, so I'm willing to sit for hours on end to ensure I get a smart one. Many lawyers are dumb."

          That may not be what you meant, but it's what the translator says you said!!

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          • #50
            Originally posted by tafnut
            Originally posted by mojo
            Tafnut will be able to decipher this.
            I ran that through a web-based mojo-to-English translator and got this:

            "I'd prefer fewer, smarter doctors, so I'm willing to sit for hours on end to ensure I get a smart one. Many lawyers are dumb."

            That may not be what you meant, but it's what the translator says you said!!
            That is exactly what I meant. :P

            Hubby wants that translator but I told him I speak the universal language of love. 8)

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            • #51
              As to law dudes premise that we police our profession to produce more MDs, I can assure him we have no say in it. It is all determined by the government as to how many graduates each medical school may produce and also how many medical schools there are. We practising physicians have no say in it at all.

              As to mojo's comment that he would rather have a well-trained MD, he is, to some degree correct. I've been in practice almost 20 years and was the first orthopaedist in North Carolina to have done a shoulder/elbow fellowship and was the first shoulder/elbow specialist in the state. I'm busy partly because I've worked hard at earning this reputation. Tafnut said he would rather see somebody quick. I have no problem with that. I'll be there when he needs me as at least 25% of my practice is fixing up shoulder problems from guys who don't know the shoulder from the elbow. But I'm sure they were seen quickly. Pick your poison.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by mojo
                I am a simpleton so bear with me. I think fewer people have what it takes to be a doctor or nurse than lawyers.

                Lawyers deal with paper and money and yes people's lives but not their life (unless they defend murderers..but you get what I mean I hope).
                While it would be nice to have more doctoris who are excellent at what they do but I'd rather have fewer it means someone like me could get in to the profession!

                Tafnut will be able to decipher this.
                mojo

                most anyone who's dedicated enough can "do" medicine - it's not rocket science

                in fact it's more an apprenticeship than anything else

                90% of docs haven't a clue about "real medicine" when they qualify, but after 4 or 5y of on the job training under their seniors they are competent enough to deal with their chosen speciality

                i have no doubt that any lawyer, engineer woud have little problem qualifying/practising for medicine - they only require the dedication

                i have a little story : when i went to med school, i had good grades coming in, but struggled as i didn't enjoy the study ( you have to basically be a "sponge" for 5y ), whereas my neighbour in college wasn't that bright & in fact he failed his entry grades required from school & had to waste a year retaking his school exams in order to get required entry into med school

                once there, i never saw anything like it in my life !

                he was so determined to succeed that it was frightening !

                for the first 2y ( which is just classwork in britain ) he slept on average 4 hours a night, studying from 6 pm - 3am to 4am every day ( 1 hour break for a jog & some dinner ) & in the 1st year read the standard medical books :

                http://www.amazon.com/Clinical-Anatomy- ... 078174315X

                http://www.amazon.com/Biochemistry-4th- ... 0716720094

                http://www.amazon.co.uk/Textbook-Medica ... 072168677X

                http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Histology-T ... 77-9723009

                somewhere between 5 to 10 times !!! ( & he wasn't boasting, it was matter of fact )

                this was on top of learning all the lecture notes & other modules : medical statistics ( the only bit i was any good at ! ops:... ) ,etc

                he was a machine, cleaned up all the prizes in med school & is now Consultant Radiologist at at a teaching hospital ( as high as it gets )

                he wasn't bright, but he was most determined guy i ever met - that's the one & only key to any profession

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