Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reece, personal musings, blogging doggerel - A Call to Aesculapius

Operator, please connect me to Greece
Who’s calling? My name is Dr. Reece.

What city? It’s a place called Mount Olympus
Who am I calling? His name is Aesculapius.

No, I confess I don’t know his first name.
With his fame, you don’t need a first name.

What’s my reason for calling?
Tell him the medical sky’s falling.

I desperately need his advice,
That reason should suffice.


Hello, Aesculapius?

I’m delighted to speak to you
I want to get your point of view.

Down here the operative words are “hope” and “change,”
Which aren’t so good if you view them at close range.

Take the simple common matter of clinical priority,
Doctors now turn to technology as the first authority.

Instead of looking at the patient and taking a history
They turn first to scans and tests to solve the mystery.

Reflexive, senseless technologies drive up costs,
Tests become the boss and have an automatic gloss.

Did you order a CT and MRI scan, asks loudly the instructor?
Of course, says the intern proudly to the rounds conductor.

As if it’s not what you observe on the outside,
But what counts is what is seen on the inside.

Forget subjectivity,
Focus on objectivity.

At medical school, doctors learn practice management,
Rather than the ins and outs of disease management.

By the way, how is the doctor’s first advisor, Hippocrates?
Tell him his famous oath is now swinging in the breeze.

Doctors are now swearing different kinds of oaths,
At rules, regulations, and bureaucratic over-growths.

And at malpractice lawyers on the offensive,
Which makes doctors practice on the defensive.

If you happen to run across Sir William Osler,
Tell him the Art of Medicine has taken a detour.

Today we talk of medicine as being data-driven,
As if numbers, not humanity, were the only given.

Please forgive me, Aesculapius.
If my bias is overtly obvious.

This is simply my own rendition,
Of medicine’s current condition.

As I complete these bad-time, bed-side medical rounds,
I think of Mark Twain’s comment on Richard Wagner’s music, “It’s not as bad as it sounds.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Us has a profoundly embedded for profit capacity health system. American doctors and patients appetite for new technologies and medical advances.
These initiatives hire lacks of lobbyers which pump money into political coffers of both parties.