Dear Physician Colleague,
There are many issues these days that confront physicians and American health care. Most doctors we know are fed up and frustrated. But why all the angst? What has pushed us over the edge? Why now? There is a common denominator here: Those of us who are clinicians and in the active practice of medicine feel that we are being told by those outside of medicine how to practice medicine. We are losing physician autonomy. We are told how to use an EMR and what is meaningful in an EMR. Forces are intruding into the doctor-patient relationship by those who are untrained and unlicensed. Finally, health care insurance companies have a monopoly power over us.
For those outside of medicine – how dare you. Do you really understand the path we have walked? Do you know what it is like to look a patient in the face and tell them they have cancer? Have you cried with a patient? Have you been sued? Have you lied awake at night wondering did you do everything and the right thing for your patient?
For those doctors who are no longer practicing clinicians and who work for a health care entity or insurance company or health care policy think tank could it be you are so far removed from the clinical practice of medicine you are out of touch?
For those of us in the trenches we feel the impact and weight of these changes every day. Sure some things need to change. But it feels so wrong that non-medical bureaucrats are mandating these changes. Harken back to medical school. 1st year. 1st semester. 1st day. Anatomy lab. Four medical students around a cadaver. Remember the spirit of cooperativeness, support and teamwork. We all helped one another. Common cause. Same goal. Lived and died together. That is what we need now. Let’s not be divisive. Let’s be united. How do we do that? How do we take action? We have a very practical way. We have launched a national movement called letmydoctorpractice.org that invites physicians and physician organizations to join us in this cause by way of this website and a Summit at the Summit National Grand Rounds on the State of American Medicine in July 2015. It’s time to let your voice be heard. It is time to restore the practice of medicine to those who actually practice medicine. Join forces with us and bring your message to this table.
Daniel Craviotto, MD
Michael Strickland, MD
Judith Thompson, MD
Gina Melink, MD