• Jennifer Meliton

A metaphor...

A friend of mine recently posted the an article from a South Carolina newspaper written by Jody Spallings Special, who entertains the following comment:

~Sorry, but I’m a parent who feels like teachers should be held accountable for teaching their students. If the students under a teacher are failing or can’t get adequate test scores, that teacher should be replaced. Our kids deserve quality teachers.

You can read the authors response here.

Here are my thoughts.

Let's suppose we apply the same paradigm to doctors. If patients under the care of a doctor are sick or can't get their numbers (weight, blood counts, number of issues) where they should be (this norm will change with different administrations), the doctor will be removed from practice.

Let's further suppose that doctors are bound by mandates from each state (set by law makers with no medical experience) and will receive funding for how they treat patients based on where their office is located. Doctors with offices in poor areas receive less funding, so "those" patients would have fewer opportunities than those living in higher income areas (where patients can afford better healthcare and are already more likely to engage in practices promoting good health). All patients will be required to achieve the same level of wellness during the same week each year, despite underlying conditions, family history, or access to adequate supports. No exceptions will be made if the patient has a virus that week. The doctor will be penalized if the patient goes out of town or opts out of being tested.

Let's treat these doctors with an occasional modicum of respect but complain about their salaries. If a doctor appears in a show or commercial portray them as a halfwit, especially if they happen to run the hospital or office. At youth games and parties, patients will discuss what the doctors do both in and out of the office (professional and personal lives fair game, character assassination is fine). Patients will frequently ask the doctors to make exceptions and will point accusing fingers at patients with either terrible or excellent health. We will continue to add tests that need to be passed and doctors will have more patients every year.

If patients may potentially be overweight or have high blood pressure at testing time, we will make sure that there is enough Advil to go around. When test results are released to the public no notations will be made concerning the number of patients who developed cancer, broke a bone, or who were involved in accidents.

We all need to support one another. Parents, teachers, doctors, community members. The health and wellness of our future truly depends on what we can do to help our whole community learn to adjust to an ever changing world. We're all in it together.

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