Once upon a time, back in 1983, 76 percent of doctors in the U.S. were self-employed. Meaning they owned their own medical practices and worked for you, the patient, and only for you.
You paid these physicians directly for personal services and care rendered. But not anymore…
According to a new survey by the American Medical Association, for the first time in history, there are more “employed” physicians in the U.S. than self-employed physicians.
In fact, as of 2018, 47 percent of doctors were employed by others and just 45 percent were self-employed.
Make no mistake—these “employed” physicians do not work for you, the patient. They work for a “third party”—very often a hospital, a corporation, or the crony, corporatist health insurance industry itself.
And this third party employer greatly influences a physician’s decisions and judgments. In fact, it ultimately determines the kind of medical care you will receive. Let me explain…
Profit-driven corporate-owned medicine
Physicians employed by hospitals are particularly problematic…
As you may know, most hospitals used to be directed by non-profit, volunteer boards made up of members of the local community. These community hospitals served the needs, interests, and concerns of the local community and were answerable to it.
But today, huge, for-profit corporations run most hospitals. And hospital doctors who work for these corporations aren’t given the freedom to treat you as an individual. Instead, they’re forced to follow a rigid “playbook” of care, if you will.
Of course, hospitals like owning medical practices because it means more business. In fact, it’s almost like a “feeder system” for them. Because the sicker the patient, the more they benefit…keeping you trapped in their system for a longer, more expensive stay.
There’s also been a trend away from small practices. In fact, in 2012, 61 percent of doctors worked in small practices with 10 or fewer doctors. But in 2018, just 57 percent of doctors worked in a small group practice.
Plus now, more doctors than ever work in huge mega-practices with 50 or more doctors, often in multi-specialty groups. These large, group practices may employ dermatologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, general practitioners, and OB/GYNs, for example, all in one building.
This set-up allows doctors to refer patients to “keep it all in the family.” In other words, they can ever-so-conveniently refer you to specialists within the same group or building for all their out-patient care, thus keeping all their “business” under one umbrella.
The ACA was the final death blow to the self-employed physician
In my view, we have the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to thank for pushing more and more doctors away from self-employment…and into employment with large group practices. Because with all the new government regulations and insurance red tape, physicians simply can’t make it on their own anymore.
And history shows this trend toward consolidated, employed physicians could even threaten our freedom and our very way of life.
In fact, back in the mid-1990s, I brought an exhibition called “Medicine in Germany, 1920–1945” to the public museum at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The exhibition documented the history of medicine in Germany in the years leading up to World War II (WWII).
As the exhibition showed, at first, the Weimar Republic brought progressive medical reforms to Germany following WWI. Doctors were no longer self-employed. Instead, they went to work for the government and provided healthcare to all citizens.
That system was all well and good under a democratic republic. But as the National Socialist (“Nazi”) Party took over the German government, physicians went to work for the Third Reich. In fact, physicians had the highest proportion of membership in the Nazi party compared to all the other professions in Germany.
As a result, the unthinkable became routine medical practice, as pointedly described by political philosopher Hannah Arendt…
Physicians became instruments of formulating and executing Nazi policies against Jews. They conducted abhorrent medical experimentation in the name of science. They participated in the extermination of the mentally ill, disabled, homosexuals, and others deemed “inconvenient” to the Third Reich. And they helped enact the “Final Solution.”
This shocking and sobering exhibition made headlines in The New York Times and The Washington Post at the time. Of course, at the same time, First Lady Hillary Clinton was making her pitch to Congress that the government should take over healthcare in the guise of “healthcare reform.”
And now, in 2019, we’re seeing red flags once again as the majority of physicians are no longer self-employed.
So, my point here is this: Be wary. Be very wary.
And remember—it’s more important than ever to avoid relying on the crony corporatist mainstream medical establishment for answers. So, keep reading my Daily Dispatch and Insiders’ Cures monthly newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the perfect time to get started. Click here to sign up today!
“For First Time, More Doctors Employed Than Self-Employed: AMA.” Medscape, 5/9/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/912791)