“Third world medicine” is how a local doctor described to me the quality of the care he is routinely seeing delivered at urgent care centers in the Phoenix area. In his practice, he is often asked to review patient charts from urgent care centers. He says most of the care he is asked to review is being delivered by physician’s assistants, who are theoretically operating under the supervision of a licensed physician. In practice, however, he says that the doctors are not adequately supervising the assistants and the care being delivered is nothing less than malpractice.
He was also critical of the conduct of some of his fellow surgeons who are being paid on a fee for service basis and who are recommending surgery to patients which this doctor believes is either too risky for the patient or is not appropriate for the patient’s situation. He attributed the willingness of these surgeons to recommend risky and inappropriate surgery to their desire for the income such surgeries produce.
Risky surgery, unnecessary surgery, third world care, money-hungry doctors – these are problems that have been ignored or swept under the rug by the medical profession for years and their root cause is greed. I was frankly surprised to hear a doctor remark upon them. No one else seems to care.