First of all, this has nothing to do with a hippopotamus. Sometimes ya just have to make these things perfectly clear.
What got me going on the difference between the “Hippocratic oath” and the word “hypocrite,” was an article by the “New York Times News Service”and reporter Abby Goodnough, (no relation to “Dear Abby”) The headline read, “Doctor Shortage May Worsen As Millions Join Medicare Rolls.” (Medicare rolls are not rolls you purchase in a bakery)
Sooooo, being the inquisitive sort, I read that article wondering if it was short doctors who couldn’t treat tall patients on Medicare , or, it actually was about rolls that a bakery might supply to people in doctors offices on Medicare.
I was obviously wrong on both counts. It seems that doctors, those guys that take that “Hippocratic oath” to treat the sick and injured, are concerned about……NO….not their sick and injured patients, but…MONEY!!!! Cash, moolah, the ol greenback. Which, I think is NOT mentioned in the Hippocratic oath. Unless, of course, it was added recently.
In San Diego, California for instance, Dr. Ted. Mazer, who is an ear, nose and throat specialist who treats low-income people on Medicaid is a bit concerned about….yep….MONEY. Because, as we all know, that’s what being a doctor is all bout.
Well, in all fairness to a lot of doctors, who actually care about their patients, Mazer not obviously one of them, some doctors do actually care. Ya just have to sort out the good ones from the bad ones.
So what did Mazer have to say about all this stuff? Why simple logic of course. He cannot accept additional patients under the government insurance program, (laughingly referred to by many who hate the program as “Obamacare,”) for one simple reason. Which is, as he stated, “It does not pay enough.”
And his view is shared by many doctors across the country. So, to me, that would mean if they don’t get enough “money” and they also have a shortage of doctors willing to accept low reimbursement rates, then basically, if you’re sick, AND, they don’t accept those low rates……adios amigo.
So what is the difference between the Hippocratic oath and being a hypocrite? A thin line here folks. I mean if ya walk into a doctor’s office with an arrow stuck in your head and you are on Medicaid and you just happen to be lucky enough to get one of those doctors that won’t accept Medicaid because there’s not enough money to be made, does that make him a hypocrite. Because he DID take that Hippocratic oath.
“But Mousefeet you say, what does that hippo whatever oath actually say?”
Well, if you’re not bored outta your ever-loving tree reading all this by now, here’s what it says….with some interjections, (in parenthesis) from yours truly with regard to the point I made above.
A Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath
I swear, (no dirty words) to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. (As did Dr. Frankenstein many eons ago until a bunch of villagers caught up with him)
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. (providing there’s ample bucks to be made by treating some of these freeloaders on Medicaid)
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. (providing patients have a Visa, or MasterCard to pay for all this warmth, sympathy and understanding)
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery. (providing they are willing to take the low payments offered by Medicare and Medicaid)
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. (although I will “pray” to God most of my patients have lots of bucks)
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. (as long as my own economic stability isn’t compromised by accepting those low government payments)
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. (and those who have a really great medical coverage plan)
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help. (Yes, such joys as my new Lexus, the fine “art” I have in my living room, and the love and affection from my family for all the finer things in life I have by not accepting those low government payments for my services)
Soooo, now that other word.