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The practice of medicine has experienced its own version of climate change

October 2018

When you or a loved one is sick or injured, health care decisions are fundamentally a matter of trust.  You trust your physician will have the answers you need, because you know that, as a highly-trained medical professional, they’re qualified to make the best recommendation for each and every patient under their care.

Physicians receive some of the most rigorous education and training of any profession. They spend the better part of a decade preparing to practice in whatever specialty and setting they choose.   Physicians are the “perfectionists,” “workaholics,” and the “superheroes” of health care. They strive to do it all, and patients expect them to.  Physicians put in the extra hours, take on complex cases, and complete the administrative tasks that are now just another part of their job description.

As the current generation of medical students transitions into residency, and eventually into medical practice, they will face a very different reality than I did when I entered the “real world.”  When you’re in medical school, you are trained to be the team leader and to be confident in every informed decision that you make, because if you’re not, the team simply falls apart. That leadership mentality is bred into medical students and reinforced in residency.

Sadly, however, the practice of medicine has experienced its own version of climate change.

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