Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's just a job and other phenomenons

When I was younger, I always dreamed of becoming a doctor. I wanted to save lives, do good to others, and be involved in a challenging and stimulating field. Maybe one day I'll actually get to live the dream.

But, the classic problem with becoming a doctor is that sometimes, those ulterior motives pop up. In America, doctors are revered as a profession, that not only is extremely respected, but commends a very nice salary also.

Not so in Israel. In Israel, being a doctor is just that- a job description. No more, and no less. There are caring, professional, knowledgeable doctors out there, ones who go far beyond the call of duty, and they get paid like every other professional, not an exorbitant amount like in other countries.
Why, you may ask- a wonderful phenomenon called socialized medicine.

Health insurance- free to all citizens, and a small amount paid for upgrades. Tourists- minimal fees, nothing like the US. And it covers everything- all care included, and no such thing as preexisting conditions.

And the doctors are phenomenal! You would think that with a low paying country the care would be substandard- nothing like it in the least. They are knowledgeable people, caring and concerned, and they won't hesitate to do anything- because after all, it won't matter if you have health insurance or not- like in the US- because the government pays for everything.

In the US, the first question asked when coming in- is what health insurance do you have, and a slight reminder that it might not cover everything.

In Israel- first question is do you have Kupat Cholim, and after that- nothing else asked.

I personally know many doctors here in Israel- and the job is much better here than the US, because it's just a job. Many of the frum male doctors learn in a yeshiva or do other work for part of the day, and work at the Kupat Cholim or hospital the other half of the day. That makes it a real job- no 36 hour shifts!

The nurses also take much more of an active role in Israel- for example, the traditional way to give birth in Israel is through midwives trained for that purpose, with doctors standing by only in an emergency situation. Most women only go to a doctor for pre-natal care, unless they would like to pay privately for a doctor throughout. In the clinics, nurses take more of a larger role in tests, and diagnosing before the doctor ever sees the patients.

It's a phenomenon- and I would hope that in other countries with socialized medicine- for example, England- this standard of care is continued. But in Israel, being a doctor is just that, a job- where you can truly show how much you care for others!

1 comment:

muse said...

Yes, so true. We've been here a long time, and if we were ever to be rational about the reasons, then Israeli medical care would be on top.