Over the last several decades, it has felt like the heart has been taken out of medicine. A human body cannot function without a heart and neither can medicine.
Sixty years ago, we might not have known how to cure certain diseases or their etymology, but our doctors cared more about us as human beings. No matter how busy they were, they took time to listen to us.
Our family GP made house calls; his car had the initials MD on his license plate, and he could park illegally wherever he went without getting a ticket.
Hospitals, never a welcoming place in any generation, were staffed by people who tried to comfort you when you were signing in to be treated in the emergency room or admitted to the hospital.
A lot has changed in the intervening years. Doctors no longer make house calls. They meet you at the hospital and if you can’t get there on your own, they send an ambulance to take you there. When you get there, you’re often left on a gurney in the overcrowded hallway until they can find a bed for you. And often, you are left on the gurney until the next day with no one asking you if you want dinner or if you want to use the rest room.
The level of medical care has diminished greatly. Doctors have no time to listen to you and many of them are too overworked or too lazy to look at your test results and help you understand what they mean.
What we hear most often is that their lack of caring and their lack of time can be blamed on the insurance companies that demand so much information and so many copies of everything. They also blame a litigious society for having to order every test under the sun so they have a lot of documentation in case your malpractice case goes to court. Of course your insurance premiums go up with all the extra work they have to do.
And somewhere along the way, doctors have gone more into digitized medicine, and they are more concerned with protecting themselves from lawsuits, than they are with your health. And almost all of them complain about the government not allowing them to make money.
And now we have a shortage of doctors . . . and a shortage of doctors who care about us as human beings.