Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why aren't Doctors Blamed for Health Problems?

If teachers are to blame for poor student academic performance, then you would think people would blame doctors for America's health issues, right? Have you heard legislators and governors calling for healthcare reform when it comes to treating and preventing conditions? Have you heard them talk about how doctors should be paid less or paid based on patient outcomes?

The answer is a big, fat no. I bet they'd beat up the PE teachers for our country's health problems before they attack doctors. By the way, I am of the opinion that doctors are not to blame for our health woes. It is the responsibility of individuals to take care of their own bodies and to follow the guidance of healthcare professionals. I also feel the same way about education. Though both parties have some responsibility in ensuring results in their respective fields, they are not deserving of 100% of the credit or the blame for those results. Both fields involve multiple parties who all have a role to play being successful.

There was a wonderful editorial in last week's Des Moines Register discussing this issue. It explains the governors charge to citizens to take responsibility for their health. It's just too bad that same line of thinking doesn't apply to the education of the state's students. Here's an excerpt:

Gov. Terry Branstad has talked repeatedly about making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. To accomplish this, he wants residents to eat better, exercise and “take responsibility” for their lifestyles. He has not suggested Iowa doctors do a better job. There have been no proposals to pay physicians in a different way or require a minimum grade-point average for incoming medical students.
Why not? Because such proposals are obviously ridiculous. No one would lay the responsibility for the complicated task of improving the health of an entire state on the professionals working in health care.
So why is the governor fixated on teachers when it comes to the complicated task of improving education in Iowa? His proposals to create “world class” schools are disproportionately targeted at educators. He has pushed for a new pay structure, mentors and even personality assessments for teachers. His education reform proposal would require college students to have at least a 3.0 grade-point average to be admitted to teaching training programs.

You can access the full article here

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