"They came together to celebrate the days when flight attendants in white gloves hustled to serve you, gate agents doled out upgrades and arranged seating so families could be together, and managers worked flights with the single mission of ensuring excellent customer service."
The employees told tales of the fun they had and the camaraderie they shared. The passengers had fun too.
One retiree said of today's airline employees, "They don't look like they are having any fun at all."
Certainly the same can be said of today's passengers.
I'm usually not a fan of the airline-medicine analogy, but I'm going to make an exception here.
Back in the day, those of us in medicine had fun too. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't at the expense of the patients.
We always approached our patients with a proper attitude of respect. But it was OK to enjoy those encounters and also the fellowship of colleagues. We helped each other out, and we did it with spirit and camaraderie.
All we read about now is how doctors are burned out, stressed, depressed. We battle with electronic records, hospital administrators, clipboard carriers, third-party payers, the government and just about everyone else.
What happened to the fun? It's all about the money.
David Shaywitz in Forbes: "The view from the front lines suggests that hospitals and care delivery systems are obsessing like never before on doing whatever they possibly can to maximize their revenue. They are consumed, utterly consumed, by this objective."
He added: "Many (I’d say most) providers and provider groups feel that they are locked in a deadly battle with payors (and increasingly, other providers) for their livelihoods; many feel they are having to work harder and harder to bring in the same (or less) money then doctors a generation ago. Many feel that the profession has lost the autonomy and respect it used to enjoy, and that providers are now viewed as mechanized assembly line workers, held to strict quantitative “quality” metrics that rarely capture the complexity, or essence, of the patient experience."
I believe what Shaywitz said is true. Can anything be done or is it hopeless?