Tuesday, February 16, 2010

outsourcing docs—quick take

These days, it seems the best chance you have of seeing an American medical doctor is on TV—especially in hospitals. From Grey’s Anatomy to reruns of ER and Chicago Hope, the English spoken by the staff is clear. That’s because it’s American TV and the ability to communicate with the viewer is paramount.

I submit the same is true in “real life.” So I was glad to read in the NYT the other day that two dozen medical schools are set to open right here. I write this with the knowledge I may get pegged as some kind of xenophobe.

These new schools are seeking to correct an imbalance in American medicine that has been growing for a quarter century. Many otherwise qualified students give up or attend offshore medical schools after being squeezed out of domestic schools. Meanwhile, American hospitals have turned to foreign-trained and foreign-born physicians to fill medical residencies.

I confess this is a problem for me, especially as I age. I just can’t understand what they are saying half the time. And when it comes to medical issues, catching every other word just doesn’t cut it, regardless of how qualified these folks are. Sorry.

It’s bad enough trying to decipher the foreign techs trying to patch up my aging laptop. But when it comes to my aging body, I just don’t want to have to work so damn hard. In a medical setting, I am either already sick or anxious about some sort of test and I’d appreciate a less stressful environment.

It’s stressful enough knowing the bill will be in the mail soon enough.

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