How Smart is Your Doctor?

I caught myself wondering today, if medical doctors are really as smart as believed to be, why is their wisdom never shared with their patients? Perhaps they are not very smart at all.  The odds of getting a correct diagnosis from a doctor might actually be worse than getting a correct diagnosis from a total layman, like a truck driver or a janitor.

Don’t get me wrong, any doctor can diagnose something like a bacterial infection or some other malady that reaches right out and makes itself obvious. Most can sew up wounds and apply bandages. Doctors almost never diagnose conditions that are not completely obvious. Some surgeons are highly skilled in terms of cutting and sewing. That being said a routine office visit is generally a complete waste of time for anything other than getting prescriptions filled.

Am I being too harsh? In a completely moral world, people are paid in keeping with their utility to society. If medical doctors were paid what the market would bear based on natural economic forces, I wouldn’t even be writing this article.

My goal here is to smarten up chumps. The situation with physicians is similar with what I found among folks who lose fortunes in the financial markets. They don’t seem to mind if their losses result from the advice of an expert. It seems to work the same way with medicine. People don’t seem to mind dying if it happens under the care of a doctor.

So, are doctors really all that smart? I am betting not but it doesn’t really matter. A doctor who is brilliant and doesn’t use what he knows or apply it to his practice is just as bad as one who really doesn’t know anything.

About James Quillian

James Quillian is an independent scholar and economist.
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