In my years of practicing medicine, I used to joke about "door knob doctors," doctors who rarely take their hand off the door knob when seeing patients.
Sadly, we will soon all be door knob doctors, frantically juggling time constraints, massive paperwork, harried staff and insecure patients. With the misnamed Affordable Care Act, the government has dramatically expanded its authority over health insurance and consequently over access to medical care. I believe there is nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act, financially or spiritually. It is to be monitored by the IRS! Not even George Orwell could picture something as ludicrous as that.
We had the best health care system the world has ever known. Goodbye to all that. Smothered by administrative tasks, doctors and nurses will retire early or just plain quit. Young people will have little interest in studying medicine. It will become harder and harder for patients to see any doctor for any reason. Doctors take an oath to work on behalf of patients, yet regulations will prevent them from suggesting the best options for a patient's care. I believe the dilemma will create a moral crisis, that drives the best people away and leaves us with mediocrity.
We are all patients at some point. An impossible situation for health care providers will eventually become an impossible situation for us all.
Dr. Robert A. Sherry