[ Monday, April 27, 2009 ]


Doctor shortage, and what it portends for healthcare reform.

I saw this in James Taranto's column in the WSJ today:
Does President Obama understand economics? This passage, from a Friday speech on
higher education, suggests not:
"And yet, in a paradox of American life, at
the very moment it's never been more important to have a quality higher
education, the cost of that kind of education has never been
Something that is more valuable than ever is also more costly than
ever? That isn't a paradox, it's a tautology!

This is further discussed by Glen Reynolds here [go read it -- we don't "produce" doctors, people have to choose to become doctors]. I've said more often than anyone wants to hear that we, as a country, want our doctors to make lots and lots of money. Right now (or at least up until the market crashed), going to med school is stupid unless you're charitably altruistic or not that smart. When I went to law school, the really smart kids coming out of college went to medical school. Law school was a step behind, and business school somewhat behind that. And doctors made more than lawyers ,who made more than B-school grads. Now, if you're really smart, you become an investment banker first, a lawyer second, and a doctor third. You can become an investment banker right out of college; if you add in B-school, it's two more years. To be a lawyer, you gotta put in 3 more unpaid years of law school before you start earning the big bucks. To be a doctor, it's 4 more years of tough graduate school, followed by 2 - 10 years of residencies, fellowships, and other low-pay, long-hours, high-stress drudgery. And all to make less than a lawyer, and a lot less than a banker?

Yes, I'm looking forward to the administration's healthcare reform proposals.

Jeff [11:46 PM]

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