In small town, he's doctor of everything

  • Article by: Curt Brown , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2014 - 11:14 AM

Only physician in town of 1,300 is getting national recognition for his commitment to rural medicine.

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mariezzJan. 26, 14 1:09 AM

While medical students may take out $100K - 150K in medical loans (at a state school; if they choose to go to a private school at higher cost, that's not smart), once they're past their residency, they easily make enough to pay that amount back in one year, even in the lowest paid areas. There are few advanced degrees where you can go to "school" for 4 years, then get paid about $50K/year while in residency, then start making over $100K per year. The NY Times had a long article looking at how much more specialists are making than just 20 years ago (even after adjustment for inflation). Oncology/hematology specialists now make double what they made in the late 1980s (again, the numbers were adjusted for inflation). Why exactly specialists should make so much more than primary care physicians is a mystery. While I do think physicians deserve to make between $150K - $300K (there has to be an incentive to go through medical school, deal with being on call, and so on), I think anything beyond that is unacceptable, especially if that money comes from medicare, medicaid, or insurance. If they can find enough people to pay out of pocket, that's one thing, but medicare, medicaid, and insurance need to rein in costs.

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elle2008Jan. 26, 14 7:28 AM

Thanks, Doc. You are giving me hope.

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angryteacherJan. 26, 14 8:00 AM

This story brings back fond memories of growing up in rural North Dakota. We had Dr. Horridsky. His story was very similar in his practice. We had people come from hundreds of miles to our little town to see him. Quite often he didn't charge for services, or charged minimally. He came to America from a German concentration camp. Very special man. He was also my neighbor.

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fred1gooseJan. 26, 14 8:10 AM

We have good people like this DR. Thank you. And then there are the Doctors working at some hospitals and nonprofits making millions of dollars while receiving government funds, donations, and at the same time refusing or limiting medicare patients and limited income people. Shame on them.

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strib1991Jan. 26, 14 9:02 AM

In my simple view, a true American hero. Thanks Doc, you made my day....

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george13Jan. 26, 14 9:48 AM

So, mariezz, we should limit the income of someone who works his/her butt off for years before he/she can even start to draw a salary but continue to pay millions to men playing children's games for a few weeks a year?

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rlwr51Jan. 26, 1410:15 AM

How did insurance companies miss taking control of him?

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turgidJan. 26, 1411:02 AM

We have commoditized medicine just like everything else in our lives. It's a series of "transactions" driven behind the scenes by loans, billing negotiations, insurance payments, "star specialists", marketing of "new" drugs, bets on and technology and the accompanying need to bill for expensive equipment. Decisions on care seem to be backed out from the standpoint of the risk of lawsuits and paying bills first, while patient needs are considered only within that framework. This is not to take away from the amazing work so many dedicated people do for us every day - the work they do is vital and life saving, and involves personal sacrifice. But the system they work in is a runaway train and we're all shoveling coal. That is what makes Dr. Bosl so exceptional. He charted his own course. He obviously doesn't worry about what the health care industry is doing, and more importantly, about the elevated status he could receive by making more money elsewhere. He doesn't fit into many of the rules that we play by in is country every day, and what can you say about that, except that the people of Stabuck are awfully lucky to have him. That award is well deserved.

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susiecueJan. 26, 14 1:05 PM

Bravo! I work in healthcare in a rural community and this doctor's dedication is rare and admirable. His award is well-deserved. We need more doctors with his values and work ethic. May he be rewarded with a long, healthy retirement when that day comes.

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mariezzJan. 26, 14 1:19 PM

George13, many people with advanced degrees like PhD. work their "butts off" for even more years than students in medical school do. Those people have just as advanced knowledge, often even more advanced. Their work as researchers is just as critical to improving the health of the public - without the primary research that is carried out by PhDs, we'd never develop the methods physicians use to save lives. Yes, the median salary of a person with a Ph.D. is far less than the median salary of a faculty member/researcher with a Ph.D. MDs are just as dependent on public money (through payments from medicare, medicaid, and insurance companies (which collect premiums from the public)) as are researchers/faculty members at universities. Additionally, many European countries do a much better job than we do here in the US to control fees that physicians can assess, to keep them to a reasonable and fair level. Finally, although many physicians do work more than 40 hours/week, so do many faculty/researchers, and so do many other people in other jobs. I don't think the value being added by physicians is such that they should be getting paid 10 times or more for their time, compared to what other get paid (especially since most physicians' pay comes from premiums paid by the public: insurance money, medicare, medicaid).

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