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Following on Sei’s thoughts about robotic-assisted surgery, a fascinating job posting rolled through my inbox that I just couldn’t resist sharing. It describes an important driver of US healthcare costs with almost haiku succinctness:

General Internist

  • Step into a lucrative mature practice, no buy-in
  • Practitioner has been here 21 years
  • Practice located in new clinic building attached to Hospital
  • Practice managed by Hospital
  • Need to be able to do stress tests and cardiolytes
  • Reading echocardiograms a plus
  • Endoscopy also encouraged

Nice, quiet community in Northeastern [large Western state]. 

What do stress tests, cardiolytes, echocardiograms and endoscopy have to do with serving a small, (presumably) elderly rural community with a 49-bed hospital? Especially by a general internist? “Lucrative” is indeed an apt description for this particular skill set, for surely it isn’t very likely to be “healthy”, “caring” or “evidence-based”.

But what fodder for haiku. Why is healthcare in the US expensive and inefficient?

Endoscopy and echo
Stress test and cardiolyte
Lucrative internist.

Still, I am no match for the ad’s own brilliance:

Stress tests and cardiolytes
Echocardiograms a plus
Endoscopy also encouraged.

Feel free to post your own haiku in the comments…

by: John Newman

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for this blogpost. It so hits the nail on the head of sooooo much that is the crux of what is sooooo wrong with healthcare and so wasteful, as well as too aggressively exposing patients to procedures that are not without risks! So many really wonderful IM Docs,for instance, that I have known have turned into near assembly line procedureists.

    _RN of 30 years, recently retired.

  2. This haiku is a playful re-purposing of the titular phrase from the iconic balladeer of Summer 2012, the inimitable Carly Rae Jepsen:

    I don’t want to die
    This medication won’t help me
    Maybe?

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