- Del Meyer, MD - https://delmeyer.net -

The Politics of Organized Medicine

Organized medicine is our topic of the month as we re-organize our organized medicine structure with new leaders via our own political process. Looking at the cross references between just those three terms yields some interesting insights. We trust they give us pause for reflection… concern… and enlightenment.

Organize: to routinize, normalize, standardize, harmonize, or synchronize.

Organization: An administrative coherent structure to unify, integrate, or arrange interdependent parts to function as one organ.

Organizations, like individuals, have their growth, their adulthood, their decrepitude, their decay, their death. If they have a rebirth or rejuvenation, it is quite by accident. As Earl Nightingale says, an organization never has more than one knight on a white horse.

An organization man is a yesman, a conformist, a conventionalist.

Never judge an organization by its politics…

Organizational politics at times are not worth a pitcher of warm “urine.” (J Gardner, revised)

There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose. (J Galbraith)

Medicine is for the patient. Medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. (Merck)

Medicine sometimes snatches away health, sometimes gives it… The art of medicine is generally a question of time. (Ovid)

The whole imposing edifice of modern medicine is like the celebrated tower of Pisa – slightly off balance. (Charles, Prince of Wales)

We have to ask ourselves whether medicine is to remain a humanitarian and respected profession or a new but depersonalized science in the service of prolonging life rather than diminishing human suffering.
(E. Kubler-Ross)

… Organization is at once necessary and fatal. Humans are forever creating such organizations for their own convenience and forever finding themselves the victims of their home-made monsters. (after A. Huxley)

Confucius, a Chinese political and moral philosopher in the sixth century BC, whose confusing system of social, familial and political organization was generally not accepted during his lifetime, was considered to have been wise by the second century BC yielding great influence for nearly two millennia.

Despite our imperfections, we have elected new leaders. I have spoken with the new president and the president elect. I think our society is in good hands. Let’s give them our ideas, insights, opposing points of view, and then our support after adequate discussion has occurred to air all points of view. Sacramento Medicine is an excellent forum for this process to occur. We have been assured that all points of view will be heard. Don’t resign if you’re unhappy. Let us hear from you. If your ideas have merit, others will support them. If they don’t, let us convince you by discussion, dialogue, and debate, in the pages of this forum which is the best way to revitalize our organization. Growth can only come through the exploration of a wide variety of ideas so that conflict will not become contrary, counteractive or counterproductive–rather it will lead to a confluence, convergence and concurrence of ideas for resolution. Remember if we trade a dollar, we still each only have a dollar. If we share an idea, then we each have two ideas.