A Happy Anniversary
A Tale of Woe

A Healthcare Crisis

If you have recently tried to make a non-emergency medical appointment, especially to see a specialist, you (and the rest of us) are a victim of physician burnout.  Personally, I am still a month away from a second opinion appointment I scheduled four months ago.

According to the American Medical Association, 63% of physicians experienced burnout in 2021, the latest year for which that information has been published.

Friends of mind have had a very positive experience with a geriatric clinic at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, and I was considering leaving my long-term healthcare provider to join it.  That is until I heard last week that it is closing.

Why?  Because healthcare has become a business, and this center was not profitable for the hospital.

My recommendation--stay healthy!


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Good morning!
Well at least I can be happy that the sun is shining in my little town on South Coast of MA but the whole health care is frightening for a person in her 80's.
I am in good health and very thankful for my mother's DNA but so many of us are wondering what to do when they need a doctor and their PC has retired ,do we go to emergency room (full of people coughing and without masks because unbelievably it is not required in doctors offices and most hospitals now)
Or do we go to an urgent care with the same problems as stated above?
Most importantly, we have lost the touch of caring that our doctors that have known us for years.
I don't believe it is just us seniors with this problem,the whole healthcare system has to be studied and corrected to help us all to receive better care.


As Judy mentioned, health care is now all about the bottom line. And much of that has happened due to both private equity and the monopolization of heath care. Once upon a time a person would graduate from medical school and set up or take over the practice of a doctor that was retiring. My sister-in-law had been one such physician who had been fortunate enough to have done so in the middle 60's. She was what had once been called a 'Family Doctor'. Specialty doctors often joined a small practice with like specialties. Who would want to practice medicine today? Between insurance that dictate the treatment and big business that runs the show, I think we are in for a very bumpy ride, no matter what our ages. Some doctors are fighting back by forming unions.

Jenyce Jiggetts

This article is very timely for me. I am in the process of posting an article called "Is it the health care system or is it me"? on my blog.
I am 85 years old and have "fired" 6 doctors in the last 6 years. I currently am paying out of pocket for a "Concierge" physician because the Medicare docs are not doing anything for me and my issues.

Luise Erdmann

I was dismayed to read that the Mount Auburn geriatric clinic is closing. I too had heard that it was a good place and called it a while ago when I was trying to find a new primary care doctor. I guess it's clear that money is the driving force at Mount Auburn (no kidding), but I wonder if anything can be done. Can the other doctors at the hospital speak out for their aging clientele? It seems short-sighted, given the increasing number of patients in their 70s and 80s (I'll turn 82 next week).

I used to go to Mass. General (my late husband was a surgeon there) but moved to Mount Auburn as my MGH doctors retired. And it seemed to be a reasonable decision. Now I wonder. I'm pretty healthy now, but who know what tomorrow will bring. When I have a problem, I call an old friend (an M.D.) for advice. Everyone is not so lucky.

Your recommendationi is spot on -- stay healthy. And maybe write to Mount Auburn and complain -- loudly! Thanks, Judy, for bringing us up to date.

Marlena Markel

The current corporatization of every aspect of American life is leading us into a not-very-welcoming lifestyle. I run a dog rescue in California (DRNC.org). I've been doing it for almost 25 years. I knew all the vets in our small towns, their various practices, whether they would come in after hours for an emergency, whether they had a holistic practice and - most important in rescue - whether I could afford them. There were at least 25 active veterinary practices in my small town with 2 or 3 vets in each office. VCA came to town a few years ago, gobbled up and retired all our vets, opened a multi million dollar "office" where the wait time can be 5 hours for an emergency and I've never seen anyone leave without paying at least $500. The treatments in this place are doled out by fresh out of school young pink cheeked kids who have no skill at diagnosing anything but the most rudimentary ailments because they have not been mentored by an experienced vet to hone these skills. The diagnoses are generally " I dont know what is wrong but try this and come back in 2 weeks"!
And so goes the medical field. Its all profit over result now in so many previously revered professions. Is this the backlash of the people who now eschew education in general? Its frightening at least to see this profit driven world take root, edging out care and compassion and literally driving people who have a work ethic from the pack in favor of "good enough"!
And this is the state of our world.

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