Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Crisis of Culture"

The letter below has been making its way around Facebook. While I disagree with the assertion that there is not a shortage of health care professionals, the remainder of the argument holds true, at least from my perspective. It goes back to a long standing pet peeve of mine. Doctors and nurses don't provide healthcare. We provide medical care. People must find their own health and when there is no skin in the game, ie free services, there is little incentive to change behavior.

Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture" a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.


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  1. Awesome, looks like someone copied and pasted an entire article and actually tried to pass it off as an article. What's next, a two sentence article with links to other sites?

  2. Good one, Anon. Do you actually have something to say pertaining to the content of the post or does the sentiment hit a little to close to home. As I noted this is going around facebook. It's worth talking about given the state of medical care today. By the way, I am not Roger Starner Jones, MD. I don't even know if he exists, but I see this scenario every day in my practice.