What if we treated doctors the same way we treat teachers?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2011

    This article puts things into an interesting perspective. We've certainly had this same discussion on here once or twice.

    http://tinyurl.com/6hv4pgd
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Wow, that was interesting.
     
  4. bonnjer

    bonnjer Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2011

    Yes, definitely an interesting article. I think I'll have to print that out and leave it in the teacher's lounge tomorrow. Good stuff!
     
  5. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    How about leaving this out in public?!
    Great article!!
     
  6. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Love it!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm OK with treating doctors the way I'm treated.

    I'm treated as a professional; I have absolutely no complaints about the way I'm treated by administration, parents, or the kids I teach.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Sort of parallels the experience many teachers here have expressed.
     
  9. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    My school has blocked this site...could someone copy and paste it for me, please?
     
  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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  11. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2011

    A good friend and colleague who is now in Chicago first gifted me with this parable. It's been in my thoughts lately as my wife pursues her medical degree. In fact, she and I have talked about this at length, and when making comparisons between how physicians and teachers are treated, she is just as astounded.

    Parallels are occasionally noted between medical training and education, especially the capstone clinical experiences present in both professions. Let us pretend that physicians of all specialties were held to similar measures of accountability and enveloped with the same kinds of discourses that we see in education reform debates. What might that look like, and how would the general public, in addition to doctors, feel about that?

    It would not take a skilled social scientist to observe that, despite exceptional achievements in treating disease and diagnostic technologies, for example, the medical profession is failing. It has failed in its tasks to disseminate good information about health, quash misconceptions, fight corporations and health lobbies that keep people sick, and prevent high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, particularly in low-income populations. What do we do about this? Well, I have a few proposals listed in no particular order:
     
  12. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    •We must begin to hold all physicians accountable, regardless of specialization, to certain quantifiable measures of health, namely cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, and BMI. All patients assigned to a physician must meet specific annual minimum standards of health. Bad doctors will be those who do not meet their patients' annual minimums, and they may be subject to certain penalties if the health scores of their patients do not improve in a reasonable amount of time.
    •It will be mandatory for the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as all of the major governing bodies in medicine, to set a goal for reaching universal health and well-being in the United States. That is, a target year will be identified in which every person will achieve the ideal values in cholesterol, blood pressure, and BMI. Future targets may include assessments of mental health. A specific interval of time will also be determined to assess all patients for these values. Although pharmaceuticals may be used to stabilize or improve health outcomes, the patient must not be on any medications at the time of assessment unless approved by an official of the administrative body of the national health assessments.
    •Quantifiable variables will be utilized to evaluate all practices and hospitals. All of this information will be made public. Additionally, medical schools will be evaluated based on the quantifiable health of patients in the care of their graduates. Medical schools will subsequently be ranked based on the health outcomes of their graduates' patients regardless of specialty. Given more advanced statistical models, these numbers could ultimately be used to assess the impact of pre-medical programs at the undergraduate level.
    •In certain high needs areas, such as family practice, emergency medicine, or in practices in low income areas, alternative routes to being licensed will be provided. Moreover, data will determine what skills are necessary to impart in the curriculum of such programs. For instance, if a certain community prevails in specific medical conditions over others, then time will not be wasted covering rare conditions so that alternative programs can operate expeditiously.
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    •Barriers to participation will be lowered in certain instances, in the form of direct subsidies or significant tax exemptions, for the opening of small hospitals or short-term care centers by private organizations or motivated members of the community.
    •Any hospital or practice is subject to a turnaround plan if minimum health requirements are not met. Should the facility not meet those requirements of minimum annual health, the entire staff will be terminated and reconstituted with more competent practitioners. Moreover, staff may be required to enroll in continuing medical education in advanced and remedial level re-licensing courses, including basic physics, chemistry, and biology.
    •In addition to in- or out-of-network information and basic demographics, an online data warehouse will be established that will provide all health data and outcomes for every licensed physician in the United States, regardless of specialty. The individual physician's education, license information, and health outcomes of patients will be listed. Should in-network physicians be deemed unfit for local health care consumers, the Federal government, with matching funds by health providers, will offer subsidies for consumers to see other practitioners.
    •Finally, a certain percentage of any and all physicians' patients will be assigned to them, care of those who qualify will be fully covered by providers. This will ensure adequate racial, income, and overall demographic diversity of clientele. The annual minimum health outcome data of these patients will also be included in the physician's overall quality.
     
  14. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Did I miss any? What if we indeed held doctors and other professionals to the same bloat and condescension that we currently hold teachers? I can predict some of the responses that physicians might make: "We can't control what our patients do or eat outside of our offices to maintain minimum levels of health. Also, these variables -- BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure -- are limited and don't adequately measure a healthy person. And one other thing, you can't expect us to be evaluated based on all patients equally, regardless of family history, poverty, and other complications." As an educator, my sentiments exactly!

    Follow Shaun Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thechalkface
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    That was great. Also, how about parents being able to complain that their kids are unhealthy because of the doctor. Nevermind the fact that the parents let them eat junk food and watch tv all day. It must be the doctor's fault.

    And Alice, I'm okay with the way I'm treated by my admin too. In fact, I think I'm treated great. It's how my profession is treated by politicians and public opinions that I take issue with.
     
  16. ACardAttack

    ACardAttack Companion

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Amazing read
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I guess I'm sheltered or something; the only place I read about that sort of treatment is here. I don't ever come across it in my day to day life. No one has ever said anything to me that would imply a lack of respect for my profession.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wonder if it's a difference between private and public. Being in a private school with what sounds like a truly wonderful and supportive administration, I would imagine that you don't have to deal with all the political mess that we in the public sector have to face. Everything we do in the public schools is legislated and tested on, over and over again.

    In my state, the new governor has just announced that he won't raise any taxes "period" so the only way for the state to save money is for all teachers to take a 5% paycut, on top of a few other things that only impact teachers. By doing that, he's effectively taxing teachers and making us carry the burden of the state's financial woes. He also explicitly said that our educational system is grossly flawed and almost to the point of being unfixable. He very clearly places the blame for our state's troubles on our (teachers') shoulders. It is offensive and hurtful, knowing how much we give to our students and to our jobs.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Ceaser, I think you're right. When the government makes cuts to education, it's like they're saying that education doesn't matter and teachers aren't that important.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    They're not just saying that they can't afford all they would like to??

    They're cutting programs that they previously funded. Doesn't that show that they found value in them, or perhaps that they expected to find value in them, but simply cannot afford them anymore?
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's the feeling that I get too. Our governor requested a 12% INCREASE in funding for our prisons. It's frustrating to watch him take money away from education and add it to prisons. Although if you think about it, it makes sense, because where else are our uneducated children going to end up besides prison?
     
  22. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Jan 27, 2011

    I never felt disrespected as a teacher. I certainly do as a Principal at times....but its usually by teachers (and not the ones at my school....just teachers in general and even stereotypes promoted on this board). Rather than get all worked up, I just figure every job is like that and some people just like to see the negative in things.

    I have a hard time thinking of a job that doesn't have some kind of stereotype tied to it that may be an unfair stereotype. In anything we choose in life, there will be some people who respect it, some who are jealous of it, some who make themselves feel better by disrespecting it, some who don't understand it, etc.

    The majority of the people I come into contact with, however, truly value the fact that I am an educator and look up to me for it. I find it to be a VERY respected career.

    I certainly don't believe that doctors would agree that they are more respected than us. I think they have their own little nightmare of disgruntled, complaining patients who don't understand the sacrifice doctors (and their families) make.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, from what I can tell, you are "sheltered".
    (Although I would personally just call it fortunate, lucky, or blessed.)
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have no idea how to respond to that.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What? I'm confused...
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm simply saying that, yes, you seem to have a mostly wonderful working environment...
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I happen to work in a district that values its teachers. We are well paid, have enjoyed enriching professional development opportunities, work with supportive parents and administrators. With tough budgets and political scrutiny (I'm in NJ with a governor who makes sport of bashing teachers),it has become more difficult to hold onto what we had...but one of the things we have not lost is the passion for what we do and the respect that we have earned in the community.
    Alice is a highly respected, intelligent, well-spoken member. She has a full life as a mom, wife, professional educator, freelance writer, and friend (and I'm sure a myriad of other categories into which she, and so many of us could fit).*
    Being treated as a professional and with respect is a consequence of what Alice does in her classroom. It is respect that she has EARNED. I'm absolutely sure that she faces challenges in her personal and professional life...many of which have been shared here. She takes on those challenges and deals with them...that's life.
    You can call Alice, and other professional educators who have 'wonderful working environments' lucky, or fortunate, or blessed. Take your pick. *But sheltered? That's just not a word that comes to my mind when I think of Alice.*
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Whoa, whoa...she said sheltered. I was simply agreeing that she seems to have a great career, understanding colleagues, mostly respectful students and parents. I clarified with lucky, fortunate, or blessed because I didn't really like the term "sheltered" myself.

    I think your defense of her is a little unnecessary...
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Alice~I can't say about the federal gov budget and its cut to education, but in my state and district, they aren't cutting where they should...up top. They need to leave those that work directly with the students alone, but that seems to be the first thing that goes even though they say they put children first.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Admittedly.

    But I still don't think that's a question of whether or not teacher are held in esteem. I don't think it has anything to do with how the politicians and administrators feel about teachers or teaching. I think it's a function of their priorities, their funds, and the pressures they feel from the people telling THEM what to do.

    Teachers tend to want cuts everywhere but their own backyard. I don't think that's reasonable.
     
  31. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I work at a school now that is well respected in the community and has a fantastic administration. Though I work for a very large urban school district and we do have to deal with many administrators downtown and politicians that show a blatant lack of respect for our profession.

    Our "appointed by the mayor" school board was recently found to have spent $800,000 worth of money to try to get the Olympics to come to the city- and I'm sure more scandals are coming- money that should have been spent on our children. Yet we are cutting programs left and right and teachers are consistently blamed by the politicians for test scores, student's dying due to gang violence etc.

    I love my job- I love my school, my students, my administration- but often I turn on the news and read articles that place blame on teachers for all the perils of the inner city schools. Unfortunately it happens and it happens often, at least here.
     
  32. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Interestingly enough in response to what is going on here in Chicago (where the person who wrote the article was referring to in the first place I believe) where we currently have a hot mayoral debate going on- This was in a recent newspaper article----

    "I see a lot of politicians jumping on teachers to show how tough they are. Yes, I know, there are some bad teachers in the system. But I know what teachers do for kids because I know what teachers did for me. I'm not going to scapegoat teachers. So, what, does that mean I'm not tough?"

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicag...ugh-does-toughness-matter/Content?oid=3143176
     
  33. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Finally a politician who appreciates what good teachers can do!
     

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