I enjoy documentaries. My wife says she enjoys watching them with me. The way I usually see it, they help her fall asleep.
But, not this one.
Not Poverty, Inc.
If you haven’t watched it, you should. We both enjoyed it.
It’s not one of these pick-a-political-side kind of shows. For the record, people across the political spectrum have endorsed it. The film has won like forty honors and twelve awards that I know absolutely nothing about. But, if you watch it, you’ll get the gist why.
We occasionally need disruptive thinking. Something to challenge our perception of reality. We actually need more of this when contemplating healthcare delivery, too. But, I’m not talking about that right now.
Poverty, Inc. is about poverty… and the humanitarian aid we use to fight it.
It’s also about government. And, business. And, how the collusion of these things isn’t solving poverty at all. Like I said, you should watch it. It provides you a fascinating perspective.
I won’t give it all away, but there are a few predominant themes that unfold in the film as you watch it.
One of the more enjoyable writers I follow on social media is Dr. John M.
I’ve never met him personally. We only rarely exchange comments in the online environment. You know, 140 characters or less stuff. I don’t really know him.
I read his articles. Although I currently have no way of knowing this with absolute certainty, he seems to be very sincere. He may have me fooled. But, I don’t think so. He comes across as passionate about medicine, patients, and the physicians who care for them. He believes in doing the right thing.
He is an advocate for something known as RightCare. I’ll get to more about this in a minute.
Dr. Atul Gawande is an American surgeon and public health extraordinaire. He is one of the most successful physician authors of this century, and he writes routinely for The New Yorker. His most recent article discussing unnecessary healthcare is, as expected, a good read.
I applaud Dr. Gawande’s passion towards advancing medicine. And, yes, there is universal agreement that we need to be better in America at providing high-quality low-cost healthcare. There just remains disagreement on what our biggest obstacles are, and how they should be overcome.
I agree with Dr. Gawande on some things, but after reading his most recent opinion piece, I must caution you about several medical inaccuracies found within it.
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.” –Genesis 11:4
With these words, so begins the biblical story of the The Tower of Babel. The tale was written, at least in part, to explain the origin of different languages. Essentially, a group of earth’s early inhabitants started to build a tower to the sky in order to see with their own eyes God’s heavenly home. Alongside grandiose intentions, they worked and worked, up until God finally put a stop to the project by confusing the language of the workers. The building of the tower ceased.
On a daily basis now, my medical colleagues and I have been hoping for a similar divine intervention to take place within America’s healthcare system. Literally, Stop the Babel! sums up our humble request. Babel means a scene of noisy confusion, which is the most accurate description that I can give you regarding the current administration of medicine in this country. The current tower of babel is being built with a myriad of uniquely shaped bricks, many of which I’ve previously described to you, including the poor management of healthcare quality measures by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the failure of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to provide value regarding physician certifications, the over-reliance on data in medicine, and the expanding beurocratic burdens that continue to move medical providers further and further away from being the centerpiece of healthcare delivery.
Dr. Oz is going to love this one.
At least, I think that he will. I’ve never actually met him. To be honest, I wouldn’t have a clue as to whether he’s really a good guy or not. In fact, I suspect that he’s never read my book, but I did devote almost an entire chapter to him, because he intrigues me by being a physician businessman.