Money Is Not Everything

Tonight, my wife was chatting happily with one of her friends and by the sound of it that conversation is still ongoing.

As I sat down munching on my supper fare, I overheard her mention her visit at the podiatrist. She said how the doctor explained to her why she chose her profession: “It sure pays the bills, eh!” And then my wife told her friend how a pair of special custom orthotic soles cost $700 or more. That’s 35 times more than that of a regular pair of soles you can get on Amazon for $20.

In my mind there is no reason why the difference ought to be that big. I mean, unless the special orthotic soles are exactly 35 times more effective at their job than the regular ones, they shouldn’t cost that much money.

But that is a bit besides the point here.

Coming back to my original idea, a few days back my esposa said something about my doctor that sure seems to apply to almost all doctors in our Western hemisphere. She said it in the context of my having some abdominal unease that she ascribed to my newly prescribed medication, that would not go away.

That is until I listened to my wife’s advice and started drinking my one small cup of kefir in the morning. Guys, listen to your wives, they know best! Trust me, they do. It worked, and I feel fine.

But back to discussing my medication with wifey. She said that most docs, regardless of their good intentions, do not really know what they are doing. So they go out and prescribe one regimen after another, in the hope of finding the right recipe that works for their patients. Well, I believe I do not need to spell out the negative consequences.

But in my case, the consequences were mostly positive. I lost weight, like a lot, I am dieting, working out day in day out, and my diabetes is for the first time consistently under control. Bottom line, I get to live a normal life again after 25 years of a living the life of a diabetic.

My personal progress aside, I cannot say that I disagree with my wife’s premise that doctors, mine included, try a lot of medications before they stumble upon the best one. I am actually quite tempted to suspend my disbelief and give her the benefit of the doubt here.

And that is what made me connect the following two main notions:

  1. Doctors, most Western doctors, that is, are in it for the money first and foremost, and then for their patients. Because you see, medical schools cost like an arm and a leg, at least here in the West. So unless your name is Doctor Schweitzer or you come from a wealthy family, you will become a doctor not because you are altruistic, have a passion for healing, or you love humanity. You will embrace the Hippocratic metier because society holds doctors in higher regard than other professions. But, you know it’s basically the money.
  2. That means most people putting on a white coat are in it for all the wrong reasons. And that is what makes them play craps with people’s lives by learning on the job, prescribing haphazard treatments, and poking the bear to find out what works and what doesn’t. So, one is lucky to find a toubib who will actually at least apply the scientific method, and will carefully document their human testing, so that they actually have a chance to not kill their patient in the process.

But in this gigantic and daily game of Eeny, meeny, miny, moe played with humans, by doctors making 6-figure salaries, who are the winners and who are the losers?

Humorous shot of a doctor displaying a bunch of fanned-out cash. I kept the original legend because it’s on the money. I am a sucker for a good pun. Believe it or not it came while I was typing this sentence. How wild is that, eh!?

Well for starters, we know that docs at least try to save lives. Sure they try different stuff and hope that their practices don’t kill patients. And when their gambit works out and the patient lives, everybody’s happy. But when the patient kicks the bucket, well, not to worry. Medicine is not really about saving lives. If you look at the human life as a longer process, medicine is about prolonging the agony of life. And sure, you may find that callous but you cannot say I am wrong.

Medical gambling and risk concept for chance, choice, healthcare insurance or postcode lottery in the UK. Again, these stock images come preloaded with a wickedly accurate legend. It’s insane how dead on they are! Again, a sucker for a pun. I hope you will bear with me.

After all, we start dying the moment our mothers give birth to us. Literally! Our neurons start dying the first second we breathe in our planet’s atmosphere. So, in a sense any doctor will take pride in doing the best for their patients, and prolong their agonies for as long as they can. Saving anyone is out of the question. It’s all about putting off the final moment. It’s all about pushing the denouement as far away from the present, and as farther into the future as humanly possible.

But if that is clearly the case in the West, where doctors are in it for the $, what can be said about the Eastern doctors?

Well, the same could be said about Eastern doctors as well. After all, they too have expenditures, and must recoup some financial losses they assume on their way to becoming Esculaps. But compared to their Western brethren, where the medical school debt can balloon, depending on the specialty, anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000, the Eastern medical practitioners are much less slaves to the lending banks.

I bet you did not believe my figures. No problem. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I were in your shoes. They say medical students take on a school debt that is 6 times that taken by average college graduates. Here’s the link if you want to read and weep:

And that makes all the difference in the world. For if your doctor chose his profession just to make a lot of doe, the consequences of their actions are on you. But if your doctor chose his profession because he had a calling, and to live comfortably, that’s how you know you are in good hands.

When doctors are motivated by $, even if they had the best and purest intentions at heart, they won’t be able to save you, because the main driver was money not altruism. And the only real drivers for knowledge are altruism, a big ego or God-complex, but never money. Money is no substitute for smarts, dedication, hard work, and self-abandonment. Money is a good driver for material accumulation only.

For the former may save you for a while as long as the $ keeps on coming, but the latter will burn the midnight oil to do so regardless of financial motivations. And their altruism may end up saving your behind, or at least prolong your agony.

Different motivations and rationales yield different outcomes, people! Always!

So, this is one reason why Money Ain’t Everything!

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