Friday, 28 August 2015

Medicine in the Headlines - again.

         Now that I am retired, I have time to peruse what is really happening in Medicine and it isn't a pretty picture.  Over a leisurely breakfast I have time to page through the national paper that I prefer and hardly a day goes by  without some sort of medical  headline.  Often it is trivia, sometimes not.  So  let me tell you about the last two days 'Medlines'.
          August 25th. -  
         "Weak MDs blamed for opioid epidemic", sub heading - 'We kill  more people now than cars do'. 
        At a CMA Meeting in Halifax the CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Halifax opined that physicians don't understand narcotics and that he frequently sees undisciplined, unstructured and arbitrary use of these medications, by weak-willed, uninformed physicians!   Hello Dr.  Grant, what's your job?   Isn't a main function of the College to protect the public from just such issues as you are criticizing?  What are you getting paid for, because if what you say is true and you haven't addressed it, you are not doing your job.   Grant went on to say "The number of lives ruined by drugs is a problem of enormous magnitude that is killing people".  Well, Dr Grant, if you were not as weak and ineffective as the physicians you are thus labeling, you would have taken this matter in hand, long ago.  You don't know how?  Well let me tell you, but you do have to  be prepared to take responsibility for what you have to do..   When I was a young physician, long long ago and in a place far away, when physicians prescribed inappropriately, they got a warning from the College.  If they did it again, their license to prescribe narcotics was taken away.  If they offended again, their license to practice medicine was taken  away.  Simple.  Effective.  But you have to have guts to implement such a policy.   It is always easy to criticize (particularly one's colleagues), there is a solution, but it takes conviction and effort to remedy the situation. 
         I'll save the next Medline for the next blog. 
 Your comments are welcome.


  1. The rare administrator who has the courage to attempt to discipline a member of a profession or trade soon learns the power of the Union! The fight can be difficult and prolonged! It can also involve considerable personal denigration and ad hominem attacks. Most administrators simply prefer to avoid the fight!

    1. I think that would be grounds for demotion or replacement, particularly when the administrator is the Head of the Union called the CMA!