Out of Camelot, Knights in White Coats Lose Way

Sandeep Jauhar in The New York Times:

Doc When I look at my career at midlife, I realize that in many ways I’ve become the kind of doctor I never thought I’d be: often impatient, at times indifferent or paternalistic. Of course, the loss of one’s ideals is a crucial component of the midlife phase, often leading to depression, nostalgia and regret: the proverbial midlife crisis. And it occurs to me that my profession is in a sort of midlife crisis of its own. The modern era of medicine began a little less than 40 years ago, with the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, which ushered in the age of managed care. Managed care was supposed to save American medicine by stemming the rise in spending initiated by Medicare. It failed to do that. Instead, it did away with the kind of medicine that made people want to be doctors in the first place.

In the last four decades, doctors have lost the special status they used to enjoy.

More here.