By Danny Lugassy, MD, March 25, 2019
Most of the stories in this series have been told by patients or their families. They have often begun by describing comfortable lives — employed, insured, healthy.
Medical calamity happens in a moment. For too many of us, financial and emotional calamity follows — creating a vicious cycle where illness begets debt, which exacerbates ill-health, a downward spiral of unstoppable anguish. Our healthcare system is broken — and many who interact with it get broken by it.
Physicians also suffer. Over half of American doctors report symptoms of burn-out — with 10% of critical and primary care physicians reporting suicidal ideation. Canadian doctors, by contrast, report much greater career satisfaction — they can focus on patients, without insurers interfering, without costs threatening lives that doctors have saved.
Having insurers intrude into the doctor-patient relationship is harming healthcare by changing how doctors practice medicine. Here’s an ER doctor’s perspective on “Healthcare in America.”