Overheard on CNN.com: Broke doctors, rich doctors? Behind the stethoscope
Some medical practices are struggling to fund payrolls in this difficult economic climate. Readers shared their explanations.
January 5th, 2012
07:51 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Broke doctors, rich doctors? Behind the stethoscope

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We've seen quite a bit of reaction to a CNNMoney story on doctors going broke due to reasons including insurance changes, the economy and business acumen. Commenters claiming to be doctors and medical staffers (and their family, too) wrote in to share why people should appreciate their circumstances. Many consumers also responded with their own thoughts.

Doctors going broke

The following comments were selected to show perspectives from beyond the sea-foam-green curtain.

Higher costs, sicker patients

One commenter cited many external factors that are creating financial stress for doctors.

JarheadTribe: "Two big problems: There are huge advancements in medicine every year, with understandably huge costs associated with them. The companies that make these advancements only do so because they hope to profit from them. No profit = no research = no advancement in medicines or technology. But, unlike any other industry in the U.S. (or even the world), everyone expects to get everything in medicine regardless of their ability to afford it. Can't walk into a BMW dealership and ask for the 2012 750Li if you don't have the money. But you can certainly come into the hospital with a massive lung cancer wrapped around your aorta and expect to be admitted to the ICU, see the hospitalist, the intensivist, the cardiologist, the oncologist, the social worker, the cardiothoracic surgeon, the vascular surgeon, receive large amounts of pain medicines, food, breathing treatments, BP meds, cardiac meds, numerous CT scans, angiograms, echocardiograms, duplex, push for surgery, radiation and long courses of the latest four-drug combination of chemotherapy, months of post-operative care, rehab, meds, food, follow-up doctor visits, wound care, etc. etc. etc. All of this, even if you have never worked a day in your life or paid a penny into the system. And guess what? We can't deny you any of this simply because you don't have the means to pay for it. You can't even get a cup of coffee at a restaurant if you don't have the means to pay for it!

"Second problem: People are living much longer than they ever have before. I see 90-year-old skeletons brought into the hospital for the 10th time in two months, with the family asking for everything to be done to keep 'grandpa' alive, even though he hasn't been able to talk, eat, drink, pee, poop, see by himself for months. He lies in bed and moans all day long, doesn't recognize anyone because of advanced dementia, has a tube for feeding, wears a diaper, has massive skin breakdown etc. etc. etc. Again, nowhere else are you expected to continue providing very, very expensive care even in absolutely futile cases when people cannot afford to pay for it. In the U.S., it is expected. None of this care is free, nor will it ever be. Someone is going to have to pay for it. We don't have endless resources or money."

A well-deserved life

One commenter said they were proud to be a doctor and defended their compensation.

emergentmd: "Doctors still make a lot of money. We worked hard for it. We deserve to drive nice cars, live in nice homes, take big vacations. I live in a million-dollar home I built, have a BMW, put my kids in private school. I worked hard for this, I spent countless time training, sacrificing my best years of my life. I now work 30 hours a week, have a salary in the top 1/2%. I get to spend time with my kids, take them out to eat, spoil my nieces/nephews. Thats right. I do not apologize for my life because I worked hard to get here. There's a lot of jealousy in this thread. I am sorry that most on here did not choose to spend time alone studying and working 120 hours a week in residency. You chose to drop out of high school or major in English.

"I graduated with an engineering degree, and was offered $70,000 out of college. I chose to go back to school/residency for another eight years, making very little. By my calculations, eight years x 70,000 is $560,000. So I gave up over half a million dollars, and eight years of my 20s. So yes. I deserve to live the easy, happy, upper-class life. I deserve my million-dollar home, my kids deserve their $15,000 private day care, I deserve two new BMWs in my garage, my wife deserves to stay home and raise our kids. I am not shy about this. I traded the best years of my life so my family would not have to struggle. No apologies here."

Long hours and reimbursement woes

Many doctors noted the long hours and years spent in training, as well as difficulties getting reimbursed by insurance companies. Several people complained that Medicare was undercompensating doctors for treatment.

kcool: "Where to even begin to address the idiotic statements made by people who don’t know what a doctor endures and the stereotypes that persist. My wife is a primary care physician. She has only been practicing for 2.5 years post-residency. She does not bring home six figures like some of you think. Some people are posting comments indicating we have club memberships, drive expensive cars, etc. How about a 6-year-old Accord? Expensive? I am currently unemployed and we’ve had to refinance our house to make the mortgage payments. Million+ dollar home? Not hardly. About a quarter of that. I’ve been on the unemployment line since April. I get interviews but no offers. We lost a significant portion of our income when I lost my job. We’ve burned through savings just paying the bills – now we are dipping into our 401k. We are definitely in the 99%!

"Some people are comparing a vet to a doctor. Not even close. Yes, they both have years of education under their belt, have to do continuing education to stay licensed, and have insurance and business overhead to pay for. Vets don’t have the market regulation imposed by insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid. I was talking to a chiropractor friend who gets reimbursed by the state of Minnesota for Medicare/Medicaid patient visits. His reimbursement – $1.56. Time in the room – 10 minutes. That’s $9.36 per hour to cover rent, utilities, insurance, equipment, student loans, staff paychecks, and somewhere in there he’d like to take some pay home as well. I know private physicians who don’t take insurance. They are cash-only and are much happier. Their patients are much happier, too. Nobody has to deal with insurance. His per-visit price is lower than my wife can charge because of the insurance billing overhead. Her practice has at least three people who do nothing but file insurance claims – three more salaries to come out of the low reimbursement rates from insurance. Oh, and eight-hour days/five days a week. What a joke! She works minimum 10-hour days (five days a week) and if she’s on call that’s a 24-hour shift (once per week plus a day every third weekend). She doesn’t get overtime pay for putting in extra hours. Why so many hours? That many sick people? In some cases, yes. In other cases, she has to sit around waiting on patients who arrive late, expect to be seen immediately when they do arrive and bring every ailment they can think of crammed into one visit. A 15-minute slot, pushed back because they were late, then extended to 30-45 minutes because they cram too much into one visit pushes everyone else back. That’s why you get to wait in the waiting room for long periods past your appointment time. Not because the doctor is screwing around – because patients don’t come on time and cram too much into one visit. Oh, and stacking two or three deep on a schedule? People make an appointment and don’t show! So, they are supposed to just sit around and do nothing? Fifty percent of her appointments are no-shows.

"My wife is on salary, so those weeks where she is working 70 hours a week isn’t worth it. She has more medical school loans than most houses cost in the U.S. – and it’s on a 10-year note, not 30. She has insurance that costs more than someone on minimum wage earns per month. She isn’t bringing home six figures, but she is the gatekeeper to the system. As primary care physician – and those are becoming a rare breed – under Obamacare, she is the entry point for patients to see a specialist. Without her, you get nowhere. Medical school graduates aren’t going into primary care because they can’t afford to. So, when all you who are whining about not having access to health care, remember this – there is a difference between access to health care and availability of health care."

No sympathy

We heard from a few readers who said they had worked with doctors and felt that at least some of the "rich doctor" stereotypes are true. The following poster said in another comment that they are a CEO.

ospreyisland: "Having worked in the medical profession for over 40 years, I can say I have absolutely no sympathy for physicians. The vast majority of those that are in a precarious financial situation is due to financial ineptitude. For years they have taken kick-backs from drug reps, medical equipment companies, and corporate conglomerates. They have become acclimated to six- and seven-figure incomes, preferential political treatment because of the financial contributions of the AMA to our ethical members of Congress, and the general perception that they are in an elitist strata relative to the rest of society. Frankly, the majority are egomaniacal, marginally competent, money grubbing dregs that have financially raped patients for years. Can you tell I have considerable sympathy for physicians?"

Medical student's perspective

We heard from many commenters talking about the grueling medical school regimen that all doctors must go through, and one comment from a student touched a nerve (no pun intended) with many others reading the forum.

Jason Feldman: "I'm a third year medical student in Arizona. Let me give you some figures:

"When I graduate my debt load will be close to $400,000. After interest and residency it will be closer to $500k+. The New Health Care Law requires us to get our student loans from the government now that charge higher than market interest rates. E.g. 10% of my loans are interest free, then about half of what is left is around 6.8% and the next half is around 7.5%. So when I am out and all is said and done, if I wanted to pay my loans off in 10 years that would amount to a $5,300 a month payment. Now take the average family doctor and say he makes $160k a year/$13k a month. Take out our 40% in tax (federal + state + Social Security + Medicaid) or more and we get $8,000 a month. Now take out the loans and we have $3,700 take-home essentially, equivalent to maybe a $60,000 a year job, which is not bad by all means ... Also factor in that we're trying to catch up on retirement since for the 10-12 years we're in school we put nothing in. In short, the cost of attending medical school now between lost income, benefits, and tuition is just under a million dollars. Oh, and all the interest we pay is not tax deductible. Am I complaining? No. I chose my career and I love what I do. But for everyone who thinks we're greedy and charge too much and live these lavish lifestyles, I think they're forgetting the eight years we spent in school, the five years we worked as residents for 80-120 hours a week and got paid $40,000 or $50,000 (roughly like 7 bucks an hour)."

Stitching it all together

We heard from a lot of folks saying that doctors have to take on a huge amount of risk, and who were frustrated with the insurance companies.

DTM03: "I am a surgeon. For those of you who think I make too much money, I would gladly give back my 20s for my modestly increased income. I have $170,000 in debt from medical school, I spent my 20s and early 30s in surgical residency working 100+ hours per week, I've missed every major holiday in my family to take care of the sickest patients in the greatest need. I love it. What I have never appreciated is how many people think that my sacrifices or skills do not deserve some level of compensation. I sometimes wonder if the general public realizes what it takes to become a physician. It is competitive and cutthroat. While we work through the training aspect of it, we have bankers, lawyers, and insurers lining up to see what they can take from us. I do wonder whether a nationalized health plan would be better than this current state. Your insurance company hates you. They want you to live a nice long, healthy life and die of a massive heart attack in your sleep. They certainly don't want you to get cancer, diabetes, or use any of the resources you've paid for."

That's my 12-year-old Chevy

Lots of the medically oriented commenters said they love what they do, but there are a lot of problems and hassles to deal with, and not everyone is superwealthy.

RationalDoc: "I am a board-certified internal medicine doctor in solo practice. I drive a 12-year-old Chevy. My next door neighbors are a fireman and a high school teacher. I struggle to pay my staff. But what I want people to know is that the governmnet is not the devil in this deal. I fight every day with Humana, Anthem, United Healthcare, etc. These Wall-Street-investor-driven for-profit companies have made practicing medicine miserable. Medicare is easy to work with by comparison. For whatever faults Medicare has, at least its heart is in the right place, and I can't say that about these for-profit companies who turn down coverage and make me fight on behalf of my patient to get a CT scan approved, all because they are trying to meet the high expectations of their shareholders. Look at your own 401(k). If you have shares in any for-profit health insurance companies, then YOU, not President Obama, are the problem."

Destination: Doctor

We did hear from a few commenters who said they were skeptical of the stories from the medical side of things. Some said doctors come to the United States to get more money.

Terry Chris: "This is a propaganda piece to elicit sympathy for doctors. American doctors are never unemployed and the highest-paid in the world. This is why America has so many foreign docs. The money is large and full-employment. I have four doctors in my family: two on my side and two on my wife's side. They are all rich."

But in Canada ...

One might even look to the health care in Canada and other countries to see how they're faring. We heard a lot of commenters talking about nationalized systems. Some love them, some hate them. Here's one comment. We'd love to hear your perspective on this, too.

ellaskin: "I am a specialist working in Ontario, Canada. My waiting list is three weeks. Urgent referrals are seen on the same day or next day. A single payer system is certainly not perfect, and taxes in Canada are high, however there are no physicians in Canada that I know of on the verge of bankruptcy, and it beats dealing with insurance companies or patients that won't pay up. The misconceptions about the health care system in Canada are unbelievable. Yes there are longer wait times than in certain areas of the U.S., and you may not be able to get an MRI just because you want one, but this is not medicine. If you need an MRI, you will get one even on the same day, if you need to be seen urgently you will be seen. If you have metastatic cancer, you will be treated with expensive chemotherapeutic agents at no cost to you or your family outside of your tax rate. Yes if you have a cold or thinning nails or knee pain, it will take longer for you to be seen and or treated, but no system is perfect. I agree with some of the previous comments. If for-profit insurance companies were taken out of the mix in the U.S., I truly believe physicians, their patients and everyone would be better off."

Lack of incentive

There is little incentive to take on the risk of the medical business or accept the payments from insurance companies, this father of a doctor says.

borealbob: "My son is an MD/Ph.D. and this story is true. Most docs will no longer go into private practice and/or accept Medicare/Medicaid. This issue goes far beyond graduating with $300K of debt. To run a medical office and give optimal care takes time and money. When you cannot even pay your bills, there is no incentive to killing yourself and punishing your family. You can drive a cab and make more money than primary care physicians. Something needs to be fixed and fast."

Uncertain futures

Many commenters said they think the current system is unsustainable.

voyager68: "For those of you on this blog who blithely comment that we (doctors) will have to make due by not buying a new Mercedes every year, I have some incredible news for you! Most of us don't drive a Mercedes or have two or three vacation homes. Yes, in general, we have incomes that are considered high but it was no easy task to achieve that. Four years of college, four years of medical school and then anywhere from three to eight years of post-medical school training and several more years in private practice before we make the 'big bucks.' On top of that, we have to make life-and-death decisions every day, take call every fourth or fifth night (usually for 24 hours straight) and carry enormous liability on top of all that. Most of us are not kicking back and placing the burden on underlings. As for the future of medicine, do the math. Our expenses (employee salaries, health care premiums, cost of meds, devices, malpractice insurance, etc.) keep going up and our remimbursements are stagnant or going down. Unlike a traditional small business, we can't raise the price of our services, because they are fixed by the government or insurance compaines. The future of medicine in this country is in greater jeopardy than it has ever been and I fear the quality of care will diminish significantly."

What do you think about these opinions? How would you fix the health care system? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Mercyme

    ?

    January 7, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. HarveyK

    haha...@ the comment by the Canadian physician. As a starry eyed liberal Democrat escaping from George Bush, Imoved to Canada in 2002, received permanent residency, and finally got to enjoy their vaunted system.

    In my little province, there is only ONE MD per hospital, and he/she must attend to the ER and the registered patients. I had to wait 8 hrs to get to see an overloaded nurse just to get some antibiotics for pneumonia, and in provinces like Edmonton the average wait is 12-19 hrs. Furthermore, the Canadian press is filled with stories of patients dying in the ER while waiting just to be screened ( The headlines are there , if you know how to search: "Montreal woman dies after waiting 6 hours in ER | CTV News" "Global Edmonton | Overcrowded ER may have played role in death" or this one "Lawsuit of man who died during 34-hour ER wait should be dismissed: Manitoba" with this eyepopping admission:

    "The province says the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not guarantee a right to life, liberty and security — the argument being made by the family."

    I find that Canadians are extremely defensive about their health care, esp to criticism by Americans, and will almost lie to make it seem less broken than it is. However, there is a reason why the Premier of Newfoundland and others fly to the US for treatment. I myself found that it was easier to drive 8 hrs to Portland Maine than endure half a day of waiting in the ER for substandard care by a poor overworked physician

    Just research this story from the Calgary Herald: "Minister to investigate cancer coverup claim: Alberta MLA alleges 250 died on waiting list", which reveals that Canadian doctors were paid millions to keep quiet about cancer patients dying on waiting list

    Anything to preserve the illusion that a broken approach to medicine works. Yes, I know the American system has its flaws, but I would still rather live in the US where I can call a doctor for an emergency situation, and expect to be treated within a few hours – even if I must pay for the service.

    In Canada, what I discovered is that you can't get the treatment for love or money...not unless you get to the USA (Premier of Newfoundland defends decision to seek surgery in the USA)

    I never appreciated what I took for granted in the US until I moved to what I thought would be a better system.

    That's when I discovered Canada has a severe shortage of doctors, because even Canadians who graduate from medical school would prefer to come to the US to practice, where they actually have a chance to earn enough to pay off their loans.

    It comes down to this: training for medical practice is expensive and the overhead costs involved with setting up a practice near prohibitive. If a government wants "free" care for citizens, it must find a way to subsidize and pay for those costs, which almost no country does. As a result, in order to have "free" care, society is then basically expecting parents or students to donate qualified and trained doctors to the system, which is unfair.

    Until cost of tuition and setting up a practice are subsidized, there isn't even a chance of a public health care system which doesn't break down within about 30 years of being implemented. JMHO

    January 7, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Megs

      Just goes to show you can go to school for 8 years, and 8 more years of training so 16 years total? Live in Canada , aka another country ince 2002 you said? And call edmonton a province. And call it a small one, at that. Do you know the land size of the province compared to so many of the sizes of land mass in the states? DO you even know the name of the province you live in? Certainly isnt Edmonton.
      I wouldnt take anything you say of actual fact if you cant even know your own local geography.
      I am a insurance broker in ontario, I also worked in the travel medical insurance for years, Ive had numerous health problems and I also have doctors as friends and family members.
      I didnt have a active health card to get free OHIP benefits, I got one for free easily a new card. I got sick , went to the hospital and was seen in 4 hours for a minor "emergency" Or the times my ohip expired and got free service, with no need to file with the government.
      Or the free samples of meds because I didnt have benefits for prescriptions at my work.
      Canada has alot of great things with our medical system and the US should follow.
      Sometimes financally and for the greater good of the people you have to let go of pride, a lil money abd take 2 steps back to make a better future.
      Sacrifice a little now US to get better health for the future. Use your bailout money for that then funding war and , then more medical care needed.
      Silly country.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine

      I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada and when I went to the walk in clinic with edema in my feet, they called around and managed to get me a cardiologist appointment 24 hours later. In Canada. With a Single Tax Payer funded system. 24 hours to see a cardiologist; an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) a week later. My fiance got an MRI on December 22nd after waiting a week. The US system is a lot more broken than ours is (compare and contrast infant mortality rates!)

      January 8, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Terry

    WOW, talk about bias news media. The selection of the postings to show in this article was soooo bias to the point of outrageous.

    January 7, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • nsaidi

      Thanks for your comment. This selection of posts is strictly of and about doctors' perspective on the story, based on the comments we received. While these posts are to some degree representative of that particular segment of the comments we observed on that story, this blog entry is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of the subject. Or, in English, this is what some medical folk had to say and we'd love to hear your perspective on the situation! Please feel free to share your opinion.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scholastica8

    I have a number of friends scattered around the world who live in countries with so-called socialized medicine. All are different. Some have a sort of socialized model combined with a for-profit model. Others are totally government run.

    Here's the thing.... of my friends, most have been through a significant health issue since I have known them. All came through and seem to be relatively happy with the system that they are under. None went bankrupt. All have total prescription coverage. None lost their jobs due to a health problem, then lost their insurance coverage, then went bankrupt. That's a fairly common occurrance in the US.

    Another thing that I'm noticing in these comments.... a whole lot of blame.

    There was one in particular from somone who was saying "Why should a young, healthy person, who has insurance, exercises, eats well, takes care of themselves, etc, support the chronic health problems of a life-time smoker or some one who is obese?

    Here's the truth that the young, healthy person needs to face: One day you will need medical care. It may be a car accident. You may blow out your knee playing tennis. Your dog may pull you down and put you in ICU with a concussion. It could be cancer. It may be a genetic aliment that will turn up as a chronic disease. You'll say, of course, those are accidents. Smoking and obesity are a choice. What you may find out is that your insurers may not cover what you expect them to cover... and may very well point out actions that you've taken, but maybe did not admit to on the insurance application, which completely voids the insurance. For example, did you have allergies as a child? If a woman, were abnormal cells ever found in a Pap Smear (very common)... but potentially pre-cancerous. Did you ever have a concussion (what about when you fell off Grandma's steps when you were 2?)

    That's a cop-out, to use an old phrase. I know a young man, very proud of his physical fitness, very hostile to anyone who smokes or is obese...... in the past 3 years, he has gotten 2 concussions playing basketball, busted himself up in a while mountain biking, and blown out his shoulder while lifting weights.

    IMHO, this young man is as irresponsible as the smoker... he just doesn't want to face that what he considers normal physical acivities can be high risk.

    In fact, stepping off a curb (ever turn your ankle or almost get hit by someone making a right turn?), walking your dog (ever have your dog see a squirrel before you did? Did you go down?), or driving a car (ever had whiplash – it's real and can be crippling) is high risk. So we all make choices that might have health consequences... smoking and obesity are just easy targets.

    BTW... I've never smoked.... and am not overweight.... and have always been active... and have sometimes paid the price for that activity. Now I'm 58... and genetic and chronic ailments are showing up right on time. Common sense says I should get rid of my 60lbs dog for a 10 lbs dog. But... while the big dog might pull me down, the little dog might just as easily trip me up.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jerrycc

    Veterinarians go through the same amount of education, probably much harder. They are in the same debt after school. They have to borrow 100,s of thousands to start a practice. They don't mark everything up 500-1000% and they are happy not to be millionaires. They know the av. pay is 70000 after a few yrs. of practice. I think Drs. should make a lot but millions? that is rediculous. Vets survive and most are better overall Drs. than most milliionare physicians. At least they can suture a cut without having to refer it.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • YouAreRight

      When you are right, you are right ... Now go to see a Vet if you get sick. They never mark up their vaccines or med ... They are all not for profit ... no one should be for profit in this world, right? Especially doctor ... By the way, if you don't mind the emergency room doctor to suture up the laceration on your face like a dog, you should let them know. I am sure they won't refer you to a plastic surgeon.

      Just realized another reason why a doc got paid so well at a mental health clinic. Some people are so stupid that they don't even know they are stupid. It takes a lot of time to explain to an idiot and let them realize. I am trying to expain but obviously I am not good in making you understand it.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • YouAreRight

      There is a difference (if you can see?) between a newborn puppy die and a new born baby die.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MercyMe

      Who said we are making millions? Please do some internet search on the average a physician makes before you go and start "talking out of the mouth" on something you do not know about.

      July 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. YouAreRight

    Why is BMW so expensive? It rides like a Kia ... If you don't feel it is worth it, then don't buy it. If you don't feel your doctor worth that much or should get paid so well, change your doctor. Go to the free clinic at the homeless shelter. Go to india and get chepaer care there when everyone keeps saying all the doctors here are foreigner anyway. Ship your kid with cancer to Mexico where you get cheaper medicine. Just like everything else in the world ... don't complains people charging too much just because you can't afford it. Works harder. Be a doctor yourself if you all think it is not a big deal, so others have to pay a lot to see you. Don't be jealous.

    January 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Monika Zajac

    Doctors SHOULD be paid well, period. I am not a doctor but I can appreciate the time and effort that it takes to become a doctor. Anyone that thinks doctors are overpaid and don't deserve to drive a nice car and have a nice house should go through all that schooling and sacrifice before they flap their yap. It's always the lazy people complaining that people that have actually achieved something are overpaid.

    January 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rohr

    every one hates doctors

    January 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Vacation home rentals folly beach

    At times, a new saying can easily erroneously cause you to be stay away from a thing great. That is true of the Poconos, situated in northeast pa beneath the Catskills. This oft joked...rental houses

    January 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. michael

    I live in the culture of the vaunted rap artist, quarterback, stock broker, and golden globe nominees. You guys deserve every penny in my opinion. And dare I say a little more respect.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ronr

    Although there’s a lot here that’s interesting, many of the thread comments posted on this page don’t really address the issue of financial challenges that are threatening to sink a lot of doctor’s offices, especially small, independent physician practices. The bigger issue, for many, is not that doctors make too much money, but that they may not make enough, prompting many of these physicians to leave the medical field for higher-paying work in the insurance industry, or, for example, in employee roles at hospitals that may lose money every year. There are many critical issues at hand here involving the complexities of medical billing and the need for doctor’s offices to retain revenue, or more accurately, collect revenue, in order to stay in business. Ron McLaughlin, CEO, enhancedmedicalbilling.com.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Britten Burdick

    I am a cancer patient of Dr. Niel Barth. I have stage 4 breast cancer. He is doing everything to save my life for me and my children. Not only is he a good Dr. but also a very good man. He has 5 children that barely see him because he is working so hard on finding a cure and saving people's lives. There are good Dr.'s out there who sacrifice their own lives to save others. Doctors deserve every cent.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Maia Dobson

    I think one of the reasons doctors are getting broke is that there are several healers and chiropractor sydney around who has their own specialization. They can also cure pains but they cost less.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Paulette

    It should be fine. It's not an antioibtic and it won't cure the infection, just masks the symptoms to make things bearable. If you have a UTI (and if you've had them before I'm just going to say you do, since it's pretty obvious lol) the AZO won't affect your urinalysis and urine culture.

    July 14, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Melissa

    Here's the thing... living and dying are not optional unlike buying a car. Health should not be a privelege, it should be a human right. Why should murderers get full health care in the prisons while hard working citizens just have to hope they dont get sick or injured because they will end up bankrupt and homeless due to the costs of medicine.

    There is absolutely no reason why doctors have to own mercedes and live in McMansions while all the people they treat are barely scraping by because the people they treat are having their blood siphoned off to support these rich doctors.

    Docyors whine that they are going bankrupt when they have the best of the best while everyone else except the top 10% are wondering how they are going to put food on the table next month.

    I have no sympathy for these doctors at all. Maybe I'd feel some if they weren't so bloody arrogant and clueless.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
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