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The Disease Killing Healthcare and Causing Physician Burnout

BY SCOTT MACDIARMID

We have a healthcare crisis . . . and the crisis is now. Costs are soaring out of control, threatening the financial health of individuals and our nation. Quality of care is deteriorating, in spite of “world class care” signs seemingly on every corner. And physicians are checking out and burning out. I believe it’s one of the greatest societal issues of our day.

So, you may be wondering: How in the heck did we get ourselves into such a mess? In the greatest country in the world who spends the most on healthcare and is regularly bragging on how great it is, what happened? 

Experts and pundits alike tout a litany of reasons. Increasing life expectancy, our reliance on sophisticated and expensive diagnostic tests and treatments, the costs of big pharma, duplication of care, fraud and abuse—the list goes on. Although these are all important contributors, none of them points to the underlying disease that’s killing healthcare.

The healthcare system in some respects is like the human body. It has seven systems, and the health and survival of each is largely dependent on the health of the others, much like the inter-dependent relationship of the organs of the human body. For example, if your liver or kidneys fail, your body’s health is severely impacted, even if your heart and lungs are functioning normally. 

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