On National Doctors’ Day, we celebrate the contributions of physicians and their commitment to caring for patients. However, it’s important to acknowledge that physicians deserve more than just token gestures. They face a lack of support from various sources, including employers, patients, politicians, the court system, insurance companies, and colleagues. It’s time to prioritize the factors that can truly appreciate their hard work and help them provide the best care possible for patients.
First and foremost, physicians need adequate resources and support from their employers. This includes access to modern medical technology, equipment, and facilities. They also need sufficient staffing and support staff to help with administrative tasks and other duties. Without these resources, physicians may struggle to provide quality care to their patients, leading to burnout and dissatisfaction.
Advocating for better healthcare policies is also crucial to ensuring physicians can provide high-quality care. Policies that prioritize preventive care, early intervention, and coordinated care can help physicians address patient needs more effectively. Better healthcare policies can also reduce the administrative burden on physicians, freeing them to focus on patient care.
Offering fair compensation and benefits is another important priority. Physicians spend many years in training and incur significant debt to enter the medical field. They deserve to be compensated fairly for their hard work and expertise. This includes competitive salaries, benefits, and retirement plans that recognize their contributions.
Providing opportunities for growth and development is also critical for physician well-being. This includes continuing education and training opportunities to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advances. It also means ending non-compete clauses that restrict physicians’ ability to work and pursue new opportunities.
Encouraging work-life balance is essential to prevent burnout and ensure physicians can provide quality care to their patients. Physicians often work long hours and face significant stress, which can take a toll on their physical and mental health. Encouraging work-life balance means allowing physicians to take time off to rest and recharge, and finding ways to reduce administrative burdens.
Showing gratitude and appreciation from society is important as well. Physicians are often the targets of patient bullying and verbal abuse, which can be emotionally taxing. Society needs to recognize and appreciate their contributions to public health and well-being. Patients must also be encouraged to show respect and gratitude towards physicians.
Maintaining physicians as team leaders and ending scope creep is critical for quality care. Physicians are highly trained professionals who can lead healthcare teams to provide effective care. Scope creep, where non-physician healthcare workers perform tasks outside their training and competence, can undermine the physician’s role as a team leader and reduce the quality of care.
Eliminating insurance companies’ power to dictate care is another important priority. Insurance companies often dictate the care physicians can provide based on cost rather than what’s best for the patient. This can limit patient access to care and reduce the quality of care. We need to ensure that physicians can provide the care they believe is best for their patients, rather than being forced to follow the insurance company’s directives.
Ensuring access to affordable medications is crucial to patient health. Patients often struggle to afford prescription drugs, which can lead to worse health outcomes. We need to find ways to reduce the cost of medications to ensure patients can access the treatments they need.
Finally, addressing social determinants of health, including reproductive rights, is essential to improving public health. Physicians play a critical role in identifying and addressing social determinants of health, such as poverty, housing insecurity, and food insecurity. We need to ensure that policies address these issues to improve overall public health.
In conclusion, on this National Doctors’ Day, let’s acknowledge that physicians deserve more than just token gestures. They need our support and prioritization of these key factors: adequate resources and support, better healthcare policies, fair compensation and benefits, growth and development opportunities, work-life balance, gratitude and appreciation from society, maintaining physician leadership.
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Dr. Sujan Gogu. Dr. Gogu is a triple-board certified physician in family medicine, sports medicine, and pain medicine who is currently working in the Rio Grande Valley at South Texas Health System Clinics. His clinical focus is in an underserved community where he provides quality care to his patients. He is a graduate from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA. He completed his family medicine residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, followed by a sports medicine fellowship at Texas A&M University in Bryan and a pain medicine fellowship at Texas Pain Institute in Fort Worth. Dr. Gogu serves on many boards and is active in many physician and patient advocacy groups, including being co-founder of Doctors in Politics, to promote better health for every walk of life. Dr. Gogu is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and now lives in the Rio Grande Valley, with his wife. They enjoy experiencing new cultures, working out, and spending time with friends and family.
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