Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health Care Alternative: More Doctors

Today NPR has two healthcare stories I heard:
1.) Volunteer doctors provide free care at a camp/fair for the uninsured,
2.) Community organizers help Obama push for universal healthcare.

I'm struck by a thought: These community organizers would surely do a lot more good if they all have a medical or nursing degree! Just imagine the concrete, physical good they can do to the world, instead of the intangible, unmeasurable service they are providing. Yes, they are talking to people, and helping people's voices get heard. But what if, they can do that, and give people what they need, too!

As a community organizer, you are usually backing a lost cause. It will take forever to see a return on your efforts, if ever. As a medical professional, you see an immediate return of your efforts. People get well right before your eyes, or at least do not suffer as much as before. You are helping people, either way. But you do more good as a medical caregiver than a community organizer. That medical fair would never have happened if doctors and nurses did not show up. You would only have a bunch of community organizers then.

Of course, it may be because I'm an engineer that I'm thinking this way. But it is a logical choice to get a nursing degree instead of community-organizing-efforts. Unless those community organizers do not really want to help people.

If Obama wants to give more medical care to the American people, one way he can start is by opening a free medical and nursing school open to all. This school will keep up the academic rigor by failing people who cannot make it. It will focus only on primary care and trauma care. Its graduates will man those community clinics for MedicAid and MediCare patients, and the uninsured.

That federal medical/nursing school has got to be cheaper than the $1+ trillion/year (2002 dollars) that MediCare is projected to require by 2075.

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