Saturday, June 21, 2008

Medal of Freedom

Today's express is upbeat. President GWB awarded the Presidental Medial of Freedom to 2 physicians.

The Medal of Freedom was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize civilians for their efforts during World War II. The award was reinstated by President Kennedy in 1963 to honor distinguished service. It is given to those deemed to have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors.

_Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr.: In 1987, he performed the world's first successful operation separating twins joined at the back of the head. He is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. Bush talked about Carson's mother, who raised Carson and another son alone. "Every week the boys would have to check out library books and write reports on them," Bush said. "She would hand them back with check marks as though she had reviewed them, never letting on that she couldn't read."

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci: An adviser to the government on global AIDS issues, he is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Bush said that Fauci still quotes what he learned from Jesuit teaching - "Precision of thought. Economy of expression." And the president quipped, "And now you know why he never ran for public office."

Both of these men come from the strength of our country, from families' who valued and prioritized education.

Many physicians lead largely unrecognized lives, except for the patients and families for whom they have cared. The thousands of physicians, radiologists, pathologists,anesthesiologists, who contribute much and without whose expertise clinicians would be back in the 19th century.   They receive little public recognition but are the lifeblood of medical care.

The gains we attain becoming MDs go far beyond our technical skills and clinical education.  Many physicians often feel they are unsuited for other vocations, however our pre medical, medical and post graduate training endow us with analytic abilities, a true comprehension of human abilities and disabilities.

We have become bogged down and enslaved to a system that suppresses originality, encourages following along blindly according to edicts of preferred practice patterns, which will never replace clinical judgment and acumen.  In fact some of the regimented patterns increase cost and waste medical resources.

It is like this also with continuing medical education which has spawned an expensive medical education-industrial complex upon which big Pharma intrudes.  More governmental intrusion and a system not unlike "No Child Left Behind".  NCLB.  I coin a new phrase  " No physician Left Behind NPLB, not to be confused with NPDB.

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