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Tuesday, March 28, 2017







Why Are We Not Upset? / DOC SHORTAGE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoiM4aHIr1o

Initially upon learning about the “why’s” of the residency shortage, I thought the lack of action to correct this travesty was due to the lack of knowledge about its existence.  The doctors I contacted had heard a little about the residency shortage but just assumed the unmatched doctor grads were “weaker candidates” and would just have to reapply again next year.  As discussed in prior blogs, the residency shortage has NOTHING to do with applicant qualifications (since all have met the requirements for applying in the NRMP), and everything to do with the shortage and the compounding effects of re-applications.  Now we know the story.  Why are we not enraged??!!

Perhaps a feeling of powerlessness causes most of us to shrug our shoulders and feel grateful it does not affect us personally.  But what if this circumstance involved one of your children or a relative?  Knowing all the years of study, sacrifice, and money they had endured, only to be denied the right to complete the last requirement for practicing Medicine, might get your interest and action!

Just think of all the rural and underserved areas of our country which would be overjoyed to have one of these fully educated doctors work in their areas.  The healthcare professionals who serve for a week in a third world country know first hand the “preciousness” of a doctor.  Some friends of mine travel annually to Guatemala to perform orthopedic and gynecologic surgeries for the masses.  One team makes an initial visit prior to the team trip just to triage the patients on which they will operate.  That way, there will be no time wasted when they return during the actual team visit, and as many surgeries as possible will be performed.  How can we just “discard” our unmatched doctors with no regard for the “human condition”?  What would Guatemala not do for one of our “cast offs”??!!

Some might say, “Look at all of the lawyers who do not get jobs”.  Although this comparison is quite a “stretch”, at least the lawyers were allowed to complete all their requirements to practice Law.  They probably were aware before Law School that getting a job might be difficult.  I do not think most students beginning Medical School worry about not being able to “complete” the requirements to practice Medicine.  Usually, the hard part is getting “into” medical school.  If there was a “glut” of doctors in the US today, prospective students would enter medical school at their “own risk”, and not be “blindsided” in the end.

I believe the Medical community and all Healthcare Professional should actively promote a solution to this residency shortage.  The “Public” is clueless as to the traditions and requirements of Medicine.  Only those who have taken this path can fully appreciate the devastation that is occurring with the discard of thousands of fully educated doctors.  Yes, I know, you are all “very busy”, and do not have time to take on this cause.  But, you DO have your voices, your email contacts, your “followers”, your legislators, your colleagues, your Medical Societies, and ”theoretically” the AMA, to help promote this agenda FOR YOU.  So talk to them about it and demand a solution!

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