Do you know why the caged bird sings?


We’re PRISONERS. Handcuffed. Placed in a 6 x 8 cell. Told what to do and when by wardens who have no idea how to handle a ward. When you are fighting the uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow battle to become a physician no one mentions THAT in the brochures for medical school. But then, perhaps there would be an excess of baristas and an even greater shortage of physicians.

Then, when you’ve actually made it – when the battle is over and you stand triumphant over the enemy that were drugs you were unable to pronounce, diseases you knew you and half of your closest acquaintances had acquired, origins and insertions of muscles you previously did not know existed, and every crease and crevice of every bone in the body. You are victorious. You will go out. You will use those drugs to treat those diseases and heal the muscles and bones of the bodies of people who place trust in you and your education. Except it’s not like that at all. Because you are prisoner 8675309. Yeah. They’ve got your number. THEY. Who is the infamous they? Who is holding bright, motivated new doctors hostage? The insurance companies. The patients. Their parents or their children. Google doctors.

TRAPPED!! New physicians rush into the fray of practice believing their desire to cure disease, heal the masses, change the world will be enough to overcome the red tape. New physicians arecharliebrown_2764183k armed with the drug of choice, the gold standard test, and algorithms designed to identify, evaluate, and treat disease. But then again, “anyone can find disease, to find health, should be the object of the physician”.1 So the physician seeks out health and prevention of disease, and is met with a grown man with his fingers in his ears saying “nah-nah-nah, I can’t hear you”….seriously.   The insurance company denies the drug of choice because it’s not the preferred drug on the plan. The gold standard test has to be pre-authorized – by someone who graduated from high school. The parent denies the vaccinations that have eradicated disease because Google said Andrew Wakefield said mercury in vaccines causes autism.

FREE public service announcement: Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines prevent disease.


However, like most new providers despite the challenges, “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.”2 At the end of the day, a patient realizing out loud YOU are their doctor, THE person they can confide in, the person that will treat the disease, cut the red tape, and jump through the flaming hoop, if necessary. Because, YOU ARE A DOCTOR. “Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.”2

1 AT Still

2 Red, The Shawshank Redemption

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