Is She Too Cute To be A “Good Doctor?”

Sandra Scott SimonsMaybe! Check this out. According to Dr. Sandra Simons, the ER physician pictured above, doctors attempting to practice medicine against the metric of patient satisfaction might just lead to this conclusion. Seems that young female physicians are going so far as to put their hair up in buns and wear fake glasses to “sell” patients on their being good enough to “satisfy” patient needs.

“Sell,” in fact, is the damning word here. This article is replete with examples of physicians having to spend their time on convincing patients that they are satisfied, rather than on practicing good medicine.

In a clever metaphor, she asks rhetorically what would happen if we ran schools based on student satisfaction. All day recess, no homework or tests and peperoni pizza for lunch every day is what would happen.

Patient satisfaction determining how “good” medicine is? How about a cheeseburger on the way to the OR, or getting me out of the ER faster rather than appropriately treated? Patients, she rationally notes, are just that.  Patients. They are not “customers.”

Bottom Line. Study Dr. Simons’ article carefully. You will see that she tees off, I believe quite appropriately, on both patient satisfaction and quick medicine as dangerous, and in fact ridiculous, metrics of “good medicine.” 

 Will 2018 see the powers that be come to recognize this absurdity and do something about it? Stay tuned!

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