Is Your Family Article originally from January 27th’s 2017 FPC Weekly Newsletter
Is Your Family Taking The Brunt Of Your Higher Calling?
As a doctor you have a calling which is to include the responsibility of educating your patients on the truth. Your job is to do no harm, but educate your patient on the role they must play as partners in health in order to hope for resolution. Case in point: If a prospective patient is sitting in front of you with deteriorating health that will obviously lead to more serious issues down the line, do you feel a responsibility to communicate to them the absolute need to move forward with any and all actions you recommend? Or do you first determine what their financial situation is before you speak the truth?
Why would you change this approach if insurance is out of the picture? What gives you the right to place judgement on whether they will see the value in their health and thus find a way to invest into what’s needed? You don’t have this right and changing your approach is a reflection of bad integrity.
If this “higher calling” is to somehow include the duty of providing services for free for those who claim they don’t have the money, why is it that this “higher calling” does not apply to hospitals, emergency care, surgical procedures and pharmaceuticals? Your higher calling is to provide the absolute best care you can which is to include the duty and responsibility of educating your patients. Your higher calling does not include social work. This is another discussion and quite frankly another type of career. Free service hurts the success of your business which in turn hurts your family. I believe the primary focus of your higher calling should be your family. Be very careful on trying to justify sacrificing your loved ones needs to help those patients who claim they cannot invest in themselves. If this is true, there are social services offered for these in need.
The majority of doctors just want to be doctors. I get it. Chefs just want to be chefs. But, chefs can’t just be chefs unless they choose to work for someone that is running the business and collecting the money. If you are in private practice, you have to be a businessperson, a CEO and not just the technician. Any way you look at, even if you work for another doctor, your higher calling, which apparently includes not worrying about the money, goes out the window if you wish to get paid by your employer. Is your employer now the evil one who only cares about the money?
Finally, your “higher calling” should include helping as many people in need as you can. If you are constantly operating a business that is tight on cash and not prospering, you will ineffectively fulfill this higher calling. I never witnessed a financially struggling doctor heavily impacting his or her community.