“The Moral Crisis of America’s Doctors” From The New York Times

In this post, I link to and excerpt from The New York Times article of 6-15-2023, “The Moral Crisis of America’s Doctors: The corporatization of health care has changed the practice of medicine, causing many physicians to feel alienated from their work.”

Please also see and review Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’ They’re suffering from moral injury. By Simon G. Talbot and Wendy DeanJuly 26, 2018

Employed physicians are often subject to pressure from their employers to cut corners on what is best for their patients. Physicians may be pressured to make decisions about patient care based on what is in the economic interest of their employers.

From the New York Times article:

The author of the above article found that many physicians were afraid to comment on their experiences for fear that they might lose their jobs.

Some sources I tried to reach had signed nondisclosure agreements that prohibited them from speaking to the media without permission. Others worried they could be disciplined or fired if they angered their employers, a concern that seems particularly well founded in the growing swath of the health care system that has been taken over by private-equity firms. In March 2020, an emergency-room doctor named Ming Lin was removed from the rotation at his hospital after airing concerns about its Covid-19 safety protocols. Lin worked at St. Joseph Medical Center, in Bellingham, Wash. — but his actual employer was TeamHealth, a company owned by the Blackstone Group.

E.R. doctors have found themselves at the forefront of these trends as more and more hospitals have outsourced the staffing in emergency departments in order to cut costs. A 2013 study by Robert McNamara, the chairman of the emergency-medicine department at Temple University in Philadelphia, found that 62 percent of emergency physicians in the United States could be fired without due process. Nearly 20 percent of the 389 E.R. doctors surveyed said they had been threatened for raising quality-of-care concerns, and pressured to make decisions based on financial considerations that could be detrimental to the people in their care, like being pushed to discharge Medicare and Medicaid patients or being encouraged to order more testing than necessary. In another study, more than 70 percent of emergency physicians agreed that the corporatization of their field has had a negative or strongly negative impact on the quality of care and on their own job satisfaction.

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