I decided to be a doctor when I was 18 years old. I had to make a decision. I was a damn good golfer (my lowest round was 10 under par on a hard course, I’ve had two holes in ones…my parents lived on a golf course, so it was a bit inevitable) and I had to make a decision– try to become a pro…or become a doctor. I think I was wise in becoming a doctor. I graduated from medical school at age 26. Graduated from my first residency at age 29. Got my Masters in Public Health at age 30 and graduated from my second residency at Hopkins at age 31. I’ve been in the trenches treating children with Medicaid for 3 years as a pediatric resident. I’ve worked at watchdog groups (Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen in DC), the Maryland State Department of Health as a legislative analyst, and at Johns Hopkins Center for Improvement in Quality Patient Care. I’ve started my own practice…on my own. I’ve seen and done a lot.
And now, due to the health reform debates, the complexities are finally being presented, in the most understandable way yet, to the American public by very talented writers. Something I’ve spent 15 years trying to figure out is now being distilled down into fairly easily understood 6 page articles in magazines like The Atlantic and The New Yorker. I only wish I had this type of simplification 15 years ago when I started preparing myself for a life as a doctor. And I know firsthand that healthcare is massively complicated. I’ve tried my best to understand it as an insider. I can’t imagine what its like to try and understand this from a lay perspective. For those trying to do so…you have my respect.