Too simple. Truth is, you're paying the hospital, malpractice fees, and other healthcare professionals as well. It costs more saving a person's life than preventing them from getting sick in the first place. Emergency care for the uninsured costs a lot, and when they can't pay, it falls to everyone else. And so on and so forth.
Believe me, if there were no desire to help people, then getting through medical school, residency, then being responsible for all these patients, would be soul-crushing. A lot of people quit before finishing just by virtue of how tough the training process is.
Plenty of private physicians go out of business. The pay just isn't good enough to keep up with the costs. Many are forced to create group practices just to manage costs.
As for hospitalists, depending on the hospital, they generally have to take on more patients and more hours than they should, just by virtue of the demand and the inability of (mainly public) hospitals to hire more.
When I finally do make it out of residency, I'll be 30+ years old. I will have spent 22+ years (at least) in school, total. That's assuming I don't take a fellowship, which tacks on another 2-4 years. After all that time, blood, sweat, and tears, I'll be damned if I'm a slave.
I think this thread at least has noble intentions, but the solution lies simply in providing more places for medical students, so that demand meets supply, not in indenturing existing doctors into being public servants.
Interesting article and some valid points, but some data that was flawed or is unsupported by valid fact. Doctors who were allegedlysurveyed and unhappy with their careers and who would not encourage their children to follow them is not supported by the plain reality I have witnessed.
I have spent more time in hospitals under doctor care than ANYONE able to read these posts. ANYONE.