Let me start this post by saying I don’t watch The Voice. I’m ambivalent about it. But I couldn’t help notice the brouhaha that judge Adam Levine started when he was overheard saying “I hate this country.” He was frustrated because one of the members of his team was voted off of the show by a public vote.
It seems that the person who was voted off was so obviously the best that he was stunned. People I asked said the same thing. So why did the public act so irrationally? Or was this just his opinion? Or do I have to go back and read Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational?
In other words why do people behave so irrationally when the truth is so obvious? Like I said I don’t have much stake in The Voice, but I do have a stake in this country’s health care system.
People who read this blog are a mixed group. Many dentists read this blog and will understand where I am coming from…let me tell you a story that has been developing through the years:
This morning I had a patient come in to tell me she was leaving my practice after 15 years. She was taking her family too, and she felt so bad because she loved our office,
But her insurance was changing, and “she had to go where they told her.” She had tears in her eyes.
There was no convincing her. She felt as if she was being forced beyond her will. Irrational? I know dentists think so. But what about the lay people reading this blog? How do you feel? You see, this is why, as a dentist I support Adam Levine’s outcry. Do I hate this country? I can tell you that it gets pretty frustrating when we watch people confirm a system that will not work to provide the best care for them and their families.
It’s frustrating to watch the public vote for a system that breeds mediocrity. It’s frustrating to watch the public en masse support a system that has no room for dentists to grow into excellence.
Dentistry may be just a small portion of the health care system. But it is part of the system, like the mouth and teeth are part of every person’s health system. Dentistry is a microcosm of what is going on economically and politically in this country. And health care professionals are watching the public just confirm exactly what they don’t want — they are voting to walk over the cliff.
That’s what frustrated Adam Levine— he said it and retracted it. I don’t think he hates this country and I don’t either – but it can sure get frustrating sometimes. We need more people to step up and support their true feelings—Adam knows talent…health professionals know health care.
Dr. Polansky, Thanks for your blog post. The insurance industry is making itself rich by deception and greed. And the general public thinks they help control costs. All they are is a “middle man” who has increased the cost of everything and then blamed the Drs., who for the most part really do care.
I HATE DECEPTIVE INSURANCE POLICIES!
Comment by Chris Devlin — May 30, 2013 @ 11:18 AM
Thanks Chris — It’s just amazing to me how this deception takes place. My patient actually pays an administrative fee to go to another practice. The dentist works at a discount—the insurance company collects a fee…and private practice dentistry, as we have known it…takes it on the chin.
Comment by Barry — May 30, 2013 @ 11:36 AM
I love Adam Levine too… a lot… but maybe for different reasons! 😉
It is sad that patients do not see any option but to let their insurance dictate their choices. I don’t blame them, though, because it’s the entire system that has taught them this belief. And understandably, some really do depend on it financially. The real shame is in what you said, “it’s frustrating to watch the public en masse support a system that has no room for dentists to grow into excellence.” What a great analogy, and so sad that insurance stymies excellence the way it does. If only we could get that message across to more.
Comment by Lolabees — May 30, 2013 @ 10:58 PM
It is frustrating Laura. Adam Levine expressed his frustrations — and we in the profession need to express our frustrations as well. It seems that so many people have sipped the Kool-Aid of insurance and entitlement—that they don’t see what will happen in the long run. I still preach comprehensive care and the exam because I believe in it…and I know so many dentists who believe in it…but it looks like this country is marching toward some form of socialized dentistry (mediocrity).
Comment by Barry — May 30, 2013 @ 11:20 PM
Could not agree more – it is frustrating. I pay additional fees to see the dentist I choose. Yes, I could save a few bucks and go where the insurance company tells me. Instead, I pay a few more and see the dentist I trust and know.
Comment by LIsa — June 9, 2013 @ 7:44 PM
Thank you for weighing in Lisa. Dentists who take the time to build practices by improiving themselves and developing realtionmships with their patients choose not to compete with the external forces that have entered dentistry. It’s frustating to watch the American public (not everyone, thankfully) refuse to pay for quality care.
Comment by Barry — June 9, 2013 @ 8:31 PM