Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

That’s two stories [recently] about doctors who see themselves as victims.

Do they realize they’re one percenters who have nothing to bitch about?  Why aren’t they ashamed to be complaining?

They know they’re on the top rung of intelligence, we all do.  We know they have as much perseverance as any Marine – they made it through college, medical school, internship and residency.  They have enormous student loans but they also get paid a great deal of money (hard to get accurate figures but think about it, would you choose to practice a hugely in-demand trade in Worlds-End Minnesota for less than $200,000 a year?)

We know doctors are at the very top of the heap in every medical clinic; anything they say, goes.  We know they are one of the very few professions that still have any respect from the general public.

And yet these two think they are victims.  Persecuted.  Unloved.  Ground under the iron heel of injustice.  Suffering at the hands of The Man.  Precious snowflakes, unique but ever so delicate.

Makes me want to vomit.  Maybe something I ate doesn’t agree with me?  What do you think, doctor?

Joe Doakes

12 thoughts on “Victimology

  1. Well, something Joe and I can agree upon. Doctors wok hard to get through school, but having known a few as they went through school, it’s not quite so hard as they make it sound. It’s NOT the hardest academic pursuit conceivable, certainly when we’re talking about a medical school which is considered good but not necessarily the top of the heap. Internship is hard, people work long, crazy hours, but doing so puts people’s health at risk and really isn’t done as some sort of “proof” of their toughness, but instead more as hazing AND because it allows doctors who have passed through their own internship and residency to work shorter hours. They have malpractice bills to pay, but the average malpractice bill for the average internist or GP isn’t as much as you think it is and on the flip side, they pay NOTHING for most medical care, free care is part of the job description.

    Here’s the big kicker, the reason there is high pay for doctors most of all is that the AMA sets the number of seats available at US medical schools so THEY LIMIT THE SUPPLY. Imagine what it would cost for a plumber if the plumbers unions could restrict the number of plumbers who could be trained? I believe doctors deserve to be paid higher than average, no doubt. I also believe that the cost of medical school is outrageous and unjustifiable. it costs so much because, first and foremost, there’s a huge demand to get in because the job on the flip side pays so well. Getting into medical school is hard, but not impossible. One thing I don’t agree with you on Joe, is that doctors the top of the scale intellectually. No, Astrophysicists and theoretical mathematicians are at the top of that heap and most chemical, aerospace and mechanical engineers are no slouches. As far as working long hours and having enormous responsibilities go, airline pilots have most doctors beat in spades IF they were first military pilots. And last, as far as HARD schools go, the US nuclear power school (for US submarine and nuclear power officers) is probably as hard a school as there is anyplace in the US. Yet, each of these professions make far less than the average physician and infinitesimally less than a high paid plastic surgeon. The latter group is highly paid based on demand for frivolous “beauty” services (another matter entirely but let’s call our system what it is, namely, driven by vanity) and that is the indictment of the whole. Doctors make what they make because they control the market and to a degree, many are vain, some have God complexes, and they think they “deserve” it because of the challenges they overcame. I agree they overcame challenges, but many others overcome equally difficult challenges, so it all boils down to one thing, they control the market. What I don’t get is that you righties abhore labor controlling things, yet you seem ok with accepting the dysfunction of our medical system, a dysfunction which starts with the out-of-proportion control of that system by the self-righteous doctors which lead it.

  2. Hard to comment without a link to an actual story and grievance. It is simply amazing that penny is able to write a tirade without the context.

    I, for one would like to see the context. Having Dr in the family I can offer an informed opinion.

  3. ” is that the AMA sets the number of seats available at US medical schools so THEY LIMIT THE SUPPLY. “

    Have to agree with penigma on this one – at the end of the 70s there were approx 1.2 million active physicians in the US with a population of 221 million for a ratio of 184:1
    now there are less than 800,000 active physicians with a population of 320 million for a ratio of 400:1

  4. Regarding doctors’ pay, it’s worth noting that when you require eight years of college plus residency to get in, you’re going to have trouble filling spots unless the wages at the end are pretty comparable to what doctors’ wages are already. You can increase slots at medical colleges, sure, but if wages drop much, you will not generally fill them simply because the better career choice will be to be an engineer or mechanic or plumber. I’m all in favor of more doctors–I know enough to know many are totally overworked–but I doubt that helps your price point much.

    Regarding residency, my take is that a great point of it is not “hazing”, but rather is simply training for the requirements of the job. When I got my gallbladder out, the surgeon did it at about 10pm. My wife’s c sections have included one at 7am and another at 2am. Then you’ve got the ER, many long surgeries, and quite frankly you simply want a lot of these things more or less in muscle memory and nearly instinctive responses.

    You might shorten the training for family practice, but even there, that’s difficult because in small towns, they also man the ER and such. As one friend of mine related, when she had her second C section–the first being in Germany with medicine far more socialized than here–the obstetrician asked her “who did this to you?”. The scars were that bad. At my company, when U.S.-based employees get injured overseas, they are generally flown back for treatment if at all possible for the same reasons.

  5. Is it too much to ask for links to the stories? Or should I just search for doctor and victimhood?

    A little (or maybe well known) fact: it takes a dentist (don’t know about doctors) about 20 years to catch up with a plumber in terms of lifetime earnings because of the initial investment.

    But the worst part is, medical and dental schools are churning out idiots nowadays (I do have firsthand knowledge because our friend teaches them and is chockfull of horror stories). And because snowflakes have no work ethic and are driven solely by instant gratification and desire to work as little as possible while reaping mega rewards (again, I have personal experience in this area as we ran into quite a few when we were selling my wife’s practice).

    So, the biggest crisis facing us, in my opinion is not cost or even access, but quality of medical and dental care, as country doctors retire and snowflakes take over. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  6. The Peevee belched: “Doctors wok hard to get through school, but having known a few as they went through school, it’s not quite so hard as they make it sound.”

    Right. Peevee used to live next to Dr. Kildare (same side as Dr. Seuss who was two doors down), and Dr. Kevorkian on the other. Across the street lived Dr. Mengele and Dr. Frankenstein was kitty corner. He was often invited to luncheon with Dr. Dre and golfed with Doc Severinsen.

    Teh Peevee is my idol.

  7. The Peevee also informed: “One thing I don’t agree with you on Joe, is that doctors the top of the scale intellectually. No, Astrophysicists and theoretical mathematicians are at the top of that heap and most chemical, aerospace and mechanical engineers are no slouches.”

    And you can take that to the bank, Joe. Because teh Peevee has close friends and relatives who travel at the very top levels of all those fields. He has personally weighed and measured them against his own mighty intellect, and adjudged them according to his exacting standards.


  8. Regarding how doctors compare intellectually, let’s think about this a moment. Mightn’t we contemplate that what makes a great lawyer does not necessarily make a great doctor, physicist, engineer, soldier, politician, and so on? I would submit it would be a fool’s errant to try to line them up in histograms and try to differentiate them that way. For that matter, what makes a great surgeon probably isn’t the same thing that makes a good family practicioner.

    Really, what I’m interested in is the simple question of “does my healthcare provider have what it takes to recognize my conditions and help me improve, extend, or save my life?” Then, the question is whether the training envisioned will allow them to take these positions at a reasonable cost.

    And then you’ve got what this thread is really about; are the increasing levels of scrutiny of doctors helping, or hurting, this?

  9. “does my healthcare provider have what it takes to recognize my conditions and help me improve, extend, or save my life?”

    Increasingly, no.

  10. JPA – my apology, links got dropped from my email to Mitch and I didn’t check these comments until now to see your request.

    First complaining doctor was discussed here:

    Second complaining doctor here:

    My question: why is the Leftist media digging up doctors to complain about racist America? Because doctors have credibility?

  11. JPA; thankfully what I see here in the shadow of Mayo is good. I joked with a friend at church–a resident learning the art of kidney and liver surgery, wild stuff–that it is my goal to go past the gauntlets of heart disease, diabetes, and the like and end up on his operating table just before he retires in 30-35 years. :^)

    But that said, I think a lot of it really depends on how well I do what I’ve known I need to do for 20 years.

  12. JD, thanks. Indeed, the context is completely different. The way you pose your question at 2:30 is very clear. And the answer is yes. The Doctors, regardless whether MD or PhD, are still thought of elite of the elite, the intellectuals among intellectuals, and therefore, by virtue of the learniness their words carry a disproportionate amount of gravitas.

    Of course, that is all bullshit. I have friends who have advanced degrees and like to derive Schrodinger equation from scratch as a hobby, who are the most unpretentious people I have ever met. They have more commons sense than a street urchin and would never consider themselves a victim. But I also have friends who have never gone to college and are the most savvy business people and intellectuals, again with plenty of common sense and no sense of victimhood.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I agree with your assessment that trolling Dr’s by the media and the elites is just another way to perpetuate demographic divide. That Dr’s are better then you and you should be glad they are around to show you the light, because without them, you are deaf, dumb and blind. The libturds cannot openly declare class war, but they can sure perpetuate the stereotypes. In the last couple of days I came across a great article on the subject. Alas, I do not recall where.

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