Opinion Letters

LETTER: So much has changed with doctors' priorities

I become somewhat upset when I read of the medical profession and the discontent of the doctors regarding their salaries. It was recently stated that the "average" physician's salary is $378,000 per year. How could anyone be dissatisfied with that?

I, of course, am of a different generation.

My parents, I and my husband and my children were all raised prior to medicare. I also had a brother who was a physician. I well know and remember the dedicated service given to us by all of our doctors - family and specialists. Ill patients were never expected to have to leave a sick bed running a temperature, feeling weak and sick. The doctor came to us at our home. They were on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Their saying was, "Don't hesitate to call me at any time if you are worried or need me." All their patients had their home telephone number.

Not only did our doctor come to our house once a day but very often twice depending on the severity of the illness; early morning on their way to the hospital or office and again in the evening on their way home, often as late as 10 p.m.

Parents and patients felt better as soon as the doctor arrived. He took time to sit by your bed, talk to you, encourage you and showed great compassion and concern to both patient and worried parents.

During the years of the Great Depression, doctors often did not get paid or were paid in installments. They never reduced or neglected their services. Public patients, or ward patients as they were called in hospitals, were given the same excellent care as were the private patients.

There were no antibiotics years ago when I was young; few prescriptions were written. Just constant rest, care and encouragement provided.

How sad that the almighty dollar and self-greed has taken over in so many ways in life. I remember so well my father saying, "Remember, money can be the root of all evil; it buys not health or happiness." It is better to give than to receive.

Let's hope the pendulum may one day swing back. What a better place the world would be.

Gloria Mackenzie


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