Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The End of the Rope

So this is what it looks like to finally come to the end of one's rope. To give it all you've got, only to come to the realization that it just isn't enough. Dr. Scott of Just Practicing, who had struggled in post-Katrina Mississippi to maintain his practice and his life, finally made the decision to quit. He is angry, as he expresses with great clarity:
When George W. Bush spoke in New Orleans days after Katrina, he promised to do whatever it took to set things right. He gave us hope. He didn't have to say those words. He could have expressed sympathy, mentioned that "the nation stands with you as you rebuild," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But instead he promised action. The terrible tragedy would be met with just as equally awesome a recovery.

Perhaps the only thing worse than no hope is false hope. Hear me out: no hope leads to reasonable expectations. No one is coming; make your plans accordingly. False hope, on the other hand, encourages you to go to the brink, even over it. I may be near the end of my rope, my finances, my energy, but at least the cavalry is coming. Until you finally realize that it isn't. And then it's too late, and the anger comes forth.
This post should be read by anyone who still supports the present administration.

I'm not be on the Gulf coast, but I can understand what it's like to feel pressed from all directions with no end in sight.

Dr. Scott: we wish you well.


At Wed Jun 27, 12:06:00 PM, Blogger beajerry said...

Bush: "Oh yeah, I remember that Katrina thing..."

At Wed Jun 27, 03:22:00 PM, Blogger MedStudentGod (MSG) said...

I was a supporter of Bush during his reelection (looks quickly away with shame). However, since then I've found myself more and more frustrated and angry at the man and his party. I've lost hope in him well before reading that, but I can't believe how poorly those people are being treated. We waste money fighting for a people who don't care (Vietnam come to anyone's mind) while our own citizens live in toxic dumps. I'm going Democrat all the way in 2008.

At Wed Jun 27, 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

And hurricane season is upon us once again...

So so sad.

At Wed Jun 27, 08:12:00 PM, Blogger N=1 said...

False hope - how I know that well. Much like the trope that gawd only gives you as much as you can handle crap.

When you get too much thrown at you and you lose all of your resilience, you're through. And when that is done to you intentionally so that you can't recover - that's the perfect crime.

Not confined to Katrina victims. Applies to anyone who speaks truth to power.

Applies to anyone who is vulnerable in the US: the meanest and most bigoted place in the western world.

It's not OK to just blog about it, Dr. Dino - what are you doing to actually support your colleague?

At Wed Jun 27, 08:22:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

Oh no, n=1; I'm not getting pulled into that crap. All I *can* do is blog about it. I can offer sympathy and public support for my colleague. I can vote for more competent administrations in future elections. But unlike some, I like to think I know the limits of my influence.

(Also, please don't try to take over this comment trail with a "speaking truth to power" flame war. I have a Delete button, and I know how to use it.)

At Wed Jun 27, 11:02:00 PM, Blogger N=1 said...

Huh? Whence comes the vitriol? You weren't treated with anything other than respect when you commented on my blog.

My comment isn't disrespectful to you, either. It relays the limits of blogging in the face of overwhelming despair of one of your colleagues.

Isn't the AMA working on the NOLA/Gulf healthcare infrastructure? And isn't there now oversight hearings trying to get a handle on the Gulf reconstruction mismanagement? (The House Committee includes a lot of contracts for the reconstruction in its oversight database). Aren't physicians across the country involved in these efforts?

But I guess you'll delete this....

At Wed Jun 27, 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for the current admin, but I don't think the next admin will be better, democrat or republican. People at that level are in it for the power--they don't really care. Seriously. I've worked on the hill--don't trust any of them.

At Thu Jun 28, 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Dk's Wife said...

Politics aside, your post is sad, and this is only one of many businesses that I am sure have done or are preparing to do the same.

At Thu Jun 28, 07:47:00 PM, Blogger Dr Scott said...

This is Dr. Scott here--thanks for the post, #1 Dinosaur! The support and recognition is very comforting.

n=1 asks what #1 Dinosaur is going to do. I agree with Dinosaur that just by blogging about this he's doing a lot. Direct involvement--which in this case means politics--is difficult and inscrutable, and frankly, it's not even Dinosaur's fight--I'd have no expectations of him or anyone else doing more, and I mean that with all respect.

n=1, is your remark about AMA involvement in post-Katrina healthcare fact or rumor? I've heard of no such thing to date. Please let me know if it is fact because I'd like to talk to those people. As of right now there is virtually no organized effort to rebuild healthcare infrastructure (there is a Louisiana Healthcare Redesign Collaborative which has a more long-term, advisory position, but it is largely confined to New Orleans and is moving slower than molasses). I've talked to people at the national level in HHS and CMS and I can assure you that (1) there is no coordinated region-wide reconstruction, and that (2) physicians are not being involved.


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