Assorted links

by on February 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1 Bob Montgomery February 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

How to breed callousness: send a doctor to school

Is this so surprising? You start out idealistic, full of “save-the-world” vim and vigor…and then you actually have to work. Then you actually have to deal with patients, who aren’t all cute, heroically brave, tragic cases. Those patients are people, and people are often impatient, ugly, and just plain assholes.

I bet you’d find the exact same thing if you surveyed prospective teachers or members of any other similar professions. Nurses, flight attendants, even hair dressers, etc.

2 pawnking February 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Seriously, folks, why expect doctors to be anything else? What other profession do we demand empathy from? Offhand, I can think of none. Oh, we’d like it from, say, the police officer we deal with, but on the whole, we’d prefer the cop to be good and fair than to be empathetic.

It’s time to grow up and stop expecting doctors to be anything other than just good at their jobs.

3 spencer February 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Through the 1980s the drop in the tax burden was essentially offset by the increase in the federal debt– the tax burden plus the federal debt as a share of gdp was essentially a constant. So is replacing taxes with debt an improvement, or is it just a deferral of the taxes?

4 BGC February 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm

“How to breed callousness: send a doctor to school”

Errr – this is a feature, not a bug.

Or do people want doctors to do the spontaneous and empathic things – things like fainting at the sight of blood, vomiting at the smell of an anal fistula, or showing their disgust at patients’ skin diseases?

No – medics need to be imperturbable in the face of anything and everything, and do whatever needs doing.

5 Tim Worstall March 1, 2008 at 6:43 am

Callous doctors? Old news.
http://eqsq.com/vivreLaDifference/doctores-nurses-and-inflicting-pain.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2544356.ece

“Many therapies require doctors to conduct examinations, perform operations or administer drugs that will be uncomfortable, painful or distressing to their patients. A normal reaction to inflicting this pain would limit their capacity to treat people.

The new research suggests that they have learnt to control this, to allow them to do their jobs more effectively. “They have learnt through their training and practice to keep a detached perspective,† Professor Decety said.

“Without such a mechanism, performing their practice could be overwhelming or distressing and, as a consequence, impair their ability to be of assistance for their patients.†

6 michelle March 1, 2008 at 1:16 pm

and nurses? don’t they often do the real dirty work of exfoliating the skin of burn patients and keeping anal fistulas clean? They run invasive tests, administer injections…yet why are they generally regarded as so much more empathic? The necessary distancing still holds for them, but somehow they’re more widely regarded as giving a damn.

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