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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

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