I am the nurse with a PhD who spoke on this morning's show about physician over-compensation. I'd like to respond here to jwmd's remarks.
Nurses are exposed to significantly more personal risk in the workplace than physicians. This is evidence-based, not my opinion. Studies have shown that abuse of nurses involves verbal abuse (usually from physicians), physical attacks (usually from patients), chemical exposure (e.g., chemotherapy), and exposure to hazardous body fluids (blood, feces and so on.)
Nurses, contrary to jwmd's perception, work nights, holidays and weekends far more than physicians. Nurses begin their careers on night shift, when the fewest support people are available. Nurses do not usually take call, it is true; nurses do, however, work every other weekend and every other holiday. Nurses are coerced or even mandated by employers to work overtime when staff are short. Nurses are present 24/7 in hospitals, often assuming roles normally done by other professionals during the "off-shifts".
jwmd is correct that nurses do not possess as much medical knowledge as physicians. Physicians do not possess my nursing knowledge, either, and I do not expect it of them. Would jwmd say that physicians should make more than engineers with PhDs because engineers do not know medicine? It's a non-sequitur.
Physician compensation is not the main source of health care overspending, but the attitude of salary entitlement among physicians is inappropriate nonetheless. Health care should not go to those who can pay for it; bringing physician compensation in line is but one piece of the solution to decreasing health care costs and increasing accessibility.
posted 3 years, 10 months ago
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