The Doctor Rebels

Are you a rebel?

Probably not the first word many docs use to describe themselves.  Doctors, for the most part are pretty obedient folks. Most of us decide to become physicians early in life.  We study hard in high school to get into a good college. In college, we study hard to get into a good medical school. In medical school, we study even harder than we ever imagined possible. We enter residency and fellowship for another 3-10 years and work harder and longer than human bodies probably should.

We don’t get into trouble. We’re too busy and too tired. We learn the rules of medicine and we follow the rules carefully. All of us have horror stories of what happens when someone doesn’t follow the rules. People get hurt and people die.

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But now, the rules have changed. We’re all facing a healthcare system with ever increasing regulation, federal top-down mandates, soft rationing, overt rationing, hospital bureaucrats, crony “capitalists” using government to force their products on us, attacks on patient privacy and physician autonomy. If we follow these rules, people will get hurt and people will die.  Many of our colleagues are blindly falling into compliance, largely out of fear and fatigue, so now is the time to ask: Are you a rebel?

We started Rebel.MD because we know the rebel docs are out there.  For too long, we’ve been speaking in hushed tones in hospital hallways, discussing issues on email, debating under pseudonyms on Sermo, sometimes feeling like we’re the only ones fighting an overwhelming system. We listen to the “experts” at the AMA, or read the illogical emails from Doctors for America with frustration, because they’re completely detached from the reality of what’s happening on the ground in medicine. These groups do not speak for us.

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Every once in a while, a doctor will speak basic truth against the powers that be, and the media goes wild. (Like here, here and here.)The rest of us shake our heads and think….any one of us could have written or said that.  Is speaking basic truth really news? Well, apparently in a time of lies, it is. It’s time we started speaking out loud to let America know we still stand strong for our profession and our patients, and share how everyday docs are working and innovating to protect Hippocratic medicine.  May the Force be with us all.

Meg Edison MD is a pediatrician in private practice. 

Sign up to write for Rebel.MD here.

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