Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reforming the patients

I am first and foremost a patient advocate. But sometimes the patients push me to my limit. Today is one of those times. No matter how many times you give a patient the clinic number. No matter how many times you explain to the patient that her contractions must be 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute for at least one hour, she will still show up in the emergency room via an ambulance for false labor. I have no idea how much this cost but I know it comes out of an ever shrinking state Medicaid budget which also pays my salary.

We are at least two generations into this welfare mentality. Most of my patients have never had a job. That is almost as shocking to me as the number of 19 year olds I see pregnant with their third child. I don't know how to change this. In the current economy, it is difficult to imagine a change. I am not even sure there is a way to change it. I do believe it will take at least two generations to begin to reverse this trend. I hope America has that much time and I hope we begin soon.
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