Birmingham Medicine

During our latest ice/snow storm a neurosurgeon walked six miles from Brookwood Hospital to Trinity Hospital in the snow down a huge mountain highway, to do brain surgery and save the life of a man at the brink of death. Everyone was shocked at his tenancy and his drive. Anderson Cooper asked him, “Can you be my doctor?” and the physician said “Do you need brain surgery?”. Anyway, the hero physician is like so many other physicians in Birmingham. No matter how tired they are or how bad the weather conditions are and when the patient can’t pay the physicians are willing to help. There are very few physicians in town that are the stereotypical doctor that only see only ‘silk drawer patients’. Sure, there are the movers and shaker types, that are always looking to take advantage of others and put making a buck above patient care.  Fortunately, those politically active, business above patients doctor types are rare. We have a crisis in Birmingham in the physician community. In the last 4 years 5 OB/Gyn physicians have left Baptist Medical Center, Princeton because they cannot make a living. Physicians under age 40 are able to re-locate but very few physicians over 40 can start a new practice. If you are famous, you can move almost anywhere,  but most doctors are not famous. Lately,  the hospital has put some of the new physicians on salary, however, they expect them to make enough money to pay back their salary. Well, hopefully the newest OB/Gyn hires can figure out how to make a living but it is doubtful, without the help of the hospital. There is a new medical Mal-practice insurance carrier though the Southern Medical Association and maybe the competition will lower insurance cost and physicians can practice a little longer.

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