One day last week I started off the day as per my normal routine, you know, prying my eyes open with a cuppa-joe while having breakfast reading the newspaper. The centrefold of the news section headlined that MD’s are “making more money than ever!”…. ok, so?
On my morning walk I couldn’t help think about this more deeply in the context of my life and the society I live and work in. “What’s the problem?” I thought as I meandered along my route, hmmmmmm. Decades ago when my Mom was in her 40′s a crafty surgeon performed an emergency aorta bypass on her. The shelf life of this procedure was only supposed to be 15 years. If you’ve been paying attention to T & T you’ll recall she turned 80 this February. So what was performed by Dr. James Key back then was nothing short of a miracle.
Last year was a particularly difficult one for her, suffering excruciating pain and losing weight. I call her the cat with 9 lives. We never quite know which one she’s on. On one unbearable day my Dad took her to emerg. Now think about it. What 79 year old sitting for hours in emerg doesn’t complain about pain? On that fine day though, Dr. David Carr took the time to listen to her story, went that extra mile and got to the root cause of her pain turning things around significantly. We lamented that she might not see Christmas then fast forward to this summer we found her back on the golf course where she was making pars and bogeys. Ok some call her a sandbagger, but I digress…
Money is spent in our society on what we value most. I sometimes get a bee in my bonnet when I think about what pro athletes get paid. Some net a million for hitting a ball out of the park for a home run. Other admin types who talk strategy all day long, attend meetings and push papers get paid in the same league without saving any lives. Surely this says something about our mixed up society, no?
I don’t know about you, but if I need my chest split open to fix my ticker or a drill in my head to tighten a loose screw I’d want my surgeon to feel appreciated, wouldn’t you? When you read about how much money fancy exec types get paid even when the company’s stock tanks I’d say in the grand scheme of things we probably don’t pay this bunch enough!
My life has been enriched all of these years with my Mom in it. I feel Dr. James Key deserved a bonus or two, a company car, stock options and even a vacation property in the Caymans cause on that fine day back in the ’70′s he operated with much precision and hit a home run out of the park…. and in my world that’s priceless.