Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

Are Patients the Collateral Damage of a Decline in Physician Job Satisfaction?

Lit matches The headline in the New York Times reports that Kaiser Permanente, based in California, is planning to add a medical school to its already huge health system. [1] Why in the world would an insurance company (even one that has its own hospitals and clinics) want to open a medical school? Perhaps the push-back from patients seeking true health care is finally registering in the business world.

According to an article just published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, physician “burn-out” is at an all-time high – more than 50% of physicians who responded to a questionnaire ( the Maslach Burnout Inventory) experienced at least one symptom of burn-out. These symptoms included things like feeling emotionally drained, resentment about patient expectations, lack of caring, frustration – signs of the “job” not making their hearts sing.

“The 15-minute office visit takes a toll on the Doctor-Patient relationship.”[2] No kidding.

What is wrong with this picture? According to a report from PBS in 2014, “Patients–and physicians–say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements. It’s not unusual for primary care doctors’ appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals. Some physicians who work for hospitals say they’ve been asked to see patients every 11 minutes.”[3]

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but somehow this time expecting to get a different result. Prescribing the same drugs, doing the same procedures, agreeing to work with the same insurance companies, working with the same paradigm... The paradigm is broken. We cannot possibly treat one organ system and expect the rest of the body to follow along. We have been too depleted by the chemicals in our environment, the herbicides in our food, the heavy metals in our teeth, the depletion of nutrients in our crops. How can we possibly heal by working on just one organ system, with just one form of medicine (allopathic, using that which is foreign to the body) when all our organ systems are involved?

There is a new paradigm of medicine - I say new, because it is new to the allopathic world.

Kaiser Permanente is planning to launch a new medical school based on this more integrative view of the human body/mind. I applaud them for this vision. Perhaps Kaiser's medical school will begin to enlarge the vision of our future medical doctors. Perhaps finally conventional medical education will begin to embrace what the naturopathic and homeopathic physicians have practiced for many years - a unification of the picture of the human body as one organism existing in harmony with its world.

If you would like to experience that kind of integrated treatment before the medical school graduates its first class, please give us a call at 480-240-2600 for your free 15-minute phone consultation, to determine whether we can help you come back to life.

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