Mad as Hell Doctors

I am hitting the road September 8, 2009 with the Mad as Hell Doctors to fight for a single payer system. This is a roadtrip that will end on October 1, 2009 with a demonstration for a single payer on the White House lawn.

My “bio” for the program:

I am a Family Practitioner and chose rural medicine. I care for all ages, including pregnancy and delivering babies, for the 13 years since I finished residency and for the last 10 years in Port Townsend, Washington, population 9000. There has been steadily increasing pressure to “produce” with less time for patients, a minimum quota, templates that impede listening and pressure to see patients for “one thing per visit”. I chose family practice because I wanted to care for the whole patient, in the context of their family and their community. In May, the rural community hospital and I parted ways, because the direction of their guidelines felt unethical to me. I will be opening my own practice, but without the county hospital subsidizing me, I will no longer deliver babies nor take the state insurance. My mission is to treat all comers from my community, my patients ranged from newborns to pregnant mothers up to a 104 year old. I want a single payer system so that I can care for anyone in my community.

I will be on the Seattle to Denver leg, with nine town forums in 7 days. As follows:

9/08 Seattle, WA

9/09 Spokane, WA

9/09 Kennewick, WA

9/10 Helena, MT

9/11 Idaho Falls, ID

9/11 Pocatello, ID

9/12 Salt Lake City, UT

9/13 Fort Collins, CO

9/14 Denver, CO

The group is arranging places to stay, but I would be happy to hear from any noders along the way. I might not be coherent, since I haven’t actually met the others yet and I’m fairly introverted. But this is in line with everything I’ve been fighting with my ex-administrators about and I happen to not have opened my private practice yet.

How did I get on board? A friend sent an email to me and one of the madashelldoctors and said, “They need a woman and you should be it.” We started talking and things just happen sometimes. Another woman doctor will be joining them from Denver to Washington, DC. It is hard enough on the introverted thinker to leave her for a week on the first day of school, but three weeks doesn’t feel right.

I have been running around, boning up on all of the proposals and single payer, reading every website I can find, getting a picture and updating my CV and writing the “bio” above and so forth. And making arrangements for the introverted thinker oh, an I need to get the plane ticket back from Denver. I will miss the first rehearsal for the Mozart Requiem and I’ll miss the Wooden Boat Festival (http://woodenboat.org/festival/). Sacrifices must be made and nothing is perfect.

Normally I would be so busy in clinic and as a single mom that I would hardly be following all this. It is a confluence of forces. I am still surprised.

Originally published on Everything2.