I got news today that my longtime family doctor is retiring. The reason I think your readers might find this interesting is that, when I asked him if the practice was for sale, he laughed and said, “I can’t give it away. I’ve placed ads in medical journals and any other place I think that it might get noticed and I haven’t received one inquiry — not one phone call or even a single email.”
I asked him why and he replied that, “The young doctors coming out of medical school only want to work nine-to-five in walk-in clinics. They don’t want to work evenings or weekends and they don’t want to cover emergency room shifts or anything else that is required of a family practice.”
Thinking for a minute, I said, “Wow, that means we’re probably facing nothing but walk-in clinics in the future. Maybe some rare but expensive boutique doctors will have a practice and make house calls.”
He replied, “Yes, that could be one scenario, the other more likely is that if you have something beyond a cold or flu that would normally be treated at a walk-in clinic, say diabetes or some other chronic malady, that you will go to another walk-in clinic that treats one or two specific chronic diseases.”
While I wish my doctor all the best in his retirement, it seems a terrible shame that our medical system now costs so much to deliver such impersonal, factory-style care. I guess I’ll get ready to stand in line with everybody else.