Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Medical Profession

Umm. Once, a person from Glynn County wondered why I became a teacher in New Orleans instead of Georgia. She then wondered why I stopped teaching altogether, and followed up with a "I wonder why more young people don't become teachers," and "it sure is hard to keep people in the teaching profession."

I told her that the reason there was a teacher shortage everywhere and why more young people won't teach or have given up teaching is simple: the way it is set up right now, teaching is kind of a shitty job. Teachers work long hours, do extra work outside of the work day, never get to leave their jobs at their jobs, and watch as bumbling administrators, union officials, legislators, contractors and system administrators constantly undermine and undercut them. There are constant threats of litigation. And then pundits tell teachers they are the reason behind America's failing public schools.

Oh yeah? Let me sign up for a little more of that.

On the flipside, I hear a lot about how America's health care system is failing, and how we have less and less young people opting to go into the medical profession. I've always wondered why, but reading this article, the answer struck me. If teaching is a shitty job, you have to be masochistic to go through what is described in that article. Thirty hour shifts? Really? I don't know many people who could pull 30 hour shifts of sleeping effectively, these people are performing surgeries and emergency medicine? No wonder people die in ER's, the staff can't see them through the blurry eyes of sleep deprivation.

Now people are complaining that residents, after 16 hours on the job, may be forced by what pundits will inevitably call "onerous job rules," to go get 5 hours sleep. After 16 hours on the job??!!?? I'm not worried about the cats who came up with the 5 hour sleep rule, but show me the asshat that decided residents should work for 15 hours straight before stitchin' my wounds up, and I'll send his stupid ass to the ER, stat. Blunt. Force. Trauma. Style.

So, I guess that means American Medicine is at roughly the same place as American Public Education: Work long hours, extra work outside the work day, never get to leave their jobs at their jobs, watching as bumbling administrators, HMO & PPO officials, legislators, contractors and system administrators constantly undermine and undercut them. There are constant threats of litigation. And then pundits tell them they are the reason behind America's failing health care system.

But the docotors & the teachers are to blame....



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2 comments:

the lady said...

The residents I know would probably not want the 16 hours on. They usually do at least 24. But that allows for actual days off during the week. Remember, working through a night messes with your body so much that it never fully recovers. So days off are good.

Besides, Surgery and ER residents tend to find a hole to sleep in when it's slow. Even if it's just for a few minutes. That's the beauty of pagers. "page me when you need me" if a phrase many a nurse knows! After that, adrenaline takes over when you need it (that and coffee!!).

DADvocate said...

You're right about the two being shitty jobs. Whenever someone complains to me about how much money doctors make I say the more power to them. Anyone willing to go through all that to save and improve lives deserves good pay. Teachers deserve good pay but few receive it. That's a really shitty job.