On How Doctors Get paid


Joe Stirt (who's an anesthesiologist) writes about how strange it is that a bad, even terrible, doctor gets paid as much as a good one.

Medical care is one of those very strange parts of the economy where you get paid no matter what the quality of the service you provide.


Doctors make a contract with their profession. They spend half their life in training in exchange for a highly dependable revenue stream in the second half. it is absolutely not true that doctor can't lose his license, nor is it true that doctors are paid independent of their skill. But it is true that the chance of losing your license after spending all that time to get it is lower than lighter weight licenses and it it true that the variation in pay is smaller over the members of the profession. You could design the profession differently; but before deciding to do it it might be best to look at who the other players in the market are and what their incentives might be. The healthcare in the 20th century was a huge achievement for professionalism. At this point the insurance companies, paper work processors, the employers, and the drug companies would love to shift the balance of power away from the professionals. The rhetoric that argues that doctors should be treated like young ghetto athletes is just an attack on professionalism. At least that's how I see it.

Hitting the preview button on comments triggers an internal server error.

Hi Ben,

Sorry about the server error. I tried installing MT Blacklist last week and it made Movable Type not work at all. (It's spectacularly messy code; so much as to make it not work with mod_perl and for it to be a bunch of work to make work).

I thought I had it gotten all out again, but apparently not. Grrrh.

- ask

Hey, you seem like a guy who knows his stuff. I was wondering of you could e-mail me all the different types of doctors out there and which pays the most?

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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on December 27, 2004 5:41 PM.

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