That last hope is the physician/patient relationship.Â Amidst the lobbying and PAC activity directed at politicians, their committees and advisors related to healthcare reform, something has been lost.Â Conservatives and the legions of physicians who generally accept this label just havenâ€™t learned much from having their ears pinned back by candidate, now President Barack Obama.Â PAC money was important only in so far as it has been used to touch voters to obtain millions more in very small donations which were the product of an emotional appeal to individuals.Â While opponents harped on the fact that now President Obama presented change without facts, he chugged along reaching individuals with emotional appeal garnering support and votes.Â Â Physicians need to take a page from his book, or was it Facebook?Â Â Esteem for physicians is waning as they are painted greedy and worse by cynical media and liberal pundits.Â Physician it is time to heal thy image.Â No longer is it a given that physicians are the selfless, caring people that we who know see them to be overwhelmingly.Â That must change.Â Patients need to be reminded in this day when all they hear out of Washington is squabbling by politicians and commentary by even physician associations which reduce the physician to politician that one fact prevails. Â â€œNo institution cares more about your healthcare than your physician, except maybe your Momma!Â Not institutions ofÂ the hospital, the insurance industry, not the employer and most assuredly not a political system which is pragmatic to the point of placing value-based medicine above values based medicine.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â What is the basic element of healthcare which humanizes care? It is the physician leader standing in the gap and closing the door marked, â€œdoctor is inâ€ to the institutionalization of medicine, by getting the patient on the side of the physician as he or she has been on theirs for centuries.Â Two things must happen:
(1)Â Â Insure that professional identity supports the relationship between physician and patient where the medical doctor is the responsible leader of the healthcare team, not the nurse or a PhD or case manager.
(2)Â Â Insure that the relationship spawns the trust that obviates the need for patients to understand the economics of medicine and the intricacies of 1200 pages of legislation.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â By the way, the object of the physician/patient relationship is also a voter.Â That is what President Obama taught old line politicians who engineered the dismantling of the conservative influence.Â He developed the Obama/voter relationship.Â Physicians must re-engineer the physician patient relationship so that they influence the body politic by enhancing their professional identity as healers!Â That is where the base of power lies and is infinitely stronger than any elite group lobby even of physicians or associations which pluck the lobby chord rather than conduct the symphony of the physician patient force which ultimately will be seen in the voting booth.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Please recall that the juggernaut of healthcare reform, where physician input was hardly considered, was not slowed down by politicians feeling pressure from physician association lobbying.Â It was the outcry of the public (patients) in Town Hall meetings which put the brakes on the public option plank.Â The truth is, when the white coat means as much to society as it does to those who wear it, patients will rise to the occasion and defend the physician viewpoint as integral to the healthcare they want.
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