Aug 23 2002
My first week of medical school is over. And it wasn’t too bad.
There were a bunch of recruiting pitches this week, mostly for AMSA and TMA/AMA. That’s the American Medical Student Association and the Texas Medical Association/American Medical Association, respectively. I joined them all, for different reasons. Some were free, some weren’t. Some have positions I’m not sure about, some positions are cool. For example, both AMSA and TMA/AMA are working to figure out work hours for residents. After all the hubbub in recent years about medical errors and stuff, people are starting to wonder if it’s a good idea to have residents doing 36-48 hours straight or not. Hmmmm. I wonder.
Another issue is “universal health care.” AMSA supports it, but they don’t do a good job of defining that, though. They say they want a single-payer system similar to Canada’s, where the federal gov’t is that entity. However, they don’t define anything about the level of care that they support, and since the US is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, I’m sure lots of people will expect the BEST of care. But that’s not possible. As much as people don’t want to admit it, it must be said that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to provide the best of care for everyone. Period. There are limited resources in this world, and so that would just be impossible. Having said that, someone has to define what care people will be able to get, and what they won’t. Who decides that? No one wants to ask that question, because in reality, that’s the dreaded “R” word – rationing. And what about people who have more money? Can they “buy up” and get more care? Questions like this are not answered, and rarely discussed in any serious manner, with politicians and the like jumping in on issues that they don’t understand. *sigh* Good ethical wrangling and the discussion of the value of human life is just not how health policy is made of anymore. If people want universal health care, they better define “health care” and how much people are getting before they talk about it.