Is medicine still a noble profession? Would you advise your child to enter the field?the-graduate----plastics

You don’t have to look very hard to find evidence of medical professional burnout or job dissatisfaction. The ground is shifting underneath all of us as the industry undergoes massive political, economic, and social transformation.

A Chicago college advisor named Regnal Jones, who has been helping mentor students into medical school for almost thirty years is now advising against it. [Dentistry, meanwhile, is still advised.] Here are the key reasons he provides, quoted from a Chicago Tribune column:

“The cost is too great, and it’s a lousy job….The minute you say to me that you want to be a physician, it’s tantamount to saying you want to be an indentured servant.”

Jones said he feels so strongly in part because medical school tuition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the time investment, depending on whether the student wants, for example, to be an internist or surgeon or orthopedist, can consume years of his or her life.

The indentured servant reference is telling. Jones is the executive director of the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program that recruits students from underrepresented racial and socioeconomic groups. Over almost three decades, he’s helped thousands of students enter health fields and other professions.

I find this very sad.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a snarky post poking fun at the city of Portland, OR. By some accounts there are too many handicapped placards issued in Portland, and not enough parking spaces for all those possessing them.

Further, those with placards are able to park for free–indefinitely–in metered city spaces.

I mean no ill will to people with disabilities. The snarky tone was inappropriate. Blogging is a chance for me to hone my voice, and to sometimes be playful, but I woefully missed the mark here, as many readers let me know. I’m more appreciative that being disabled involves many indignities, inconveniences and extra costs–and allowing convenient free parking is only a fraction of what we can do to be more helpful as a society.

The main point of the post is that it’s somewhat ludicrous to have doctors be the arbiters of who can get hang tags. It leads to exactly the problem they’re having in Portland.

I’m sorry for the harm I’ve caused.