Doctors Working for Free

Business owners sometimes do unreimbursed work to promote their business, but most of the time people charge for what they do. In healthcare, doctors are paid for seeing patients but not for reviewing incoming results, giving telephone advice or coordinating care. Those activities are seldom reimbursed by insurance companies.

Since most of us are no longer business owners but employees, the obvious question is why are we evaluating and compensating physicians’ performance based on billable activities but expected to do all non-billables without compensation on our own time?

4 Responses to “Doctors Working for Free”


  1. 2 Alessandra Chaves December 1, 2022 at 8:13 am

    The same expectation from teachers, and they make a fraction of the money.

  2. 3 Susan H Carpenter December 1, 2022 at 8:35 am

    Sounds like school teachers. After working in a school, I realized exactly how much work is done on their own time. They have to love what they do, not for the paycheck, but for the good that comes from helping another human being. I know Dr’s are overworked, overtired and underpaid as well. It’s a shame. The two professions we trust ourselves and our loved ones with get paid ‘diddlysquat.’

  3. 4 Mike Balfe December 2, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Most mornings I start working remotely from home in my work inbox at around 4 AM. If I didn’t do it then, when would it get done? I spend hours outside of work every day and every week doing this. And I work for a pretty good employer. (I’m still there after many years.)
    OTH, if any young person (not a patient, of course) asks for career advice, I try to gently steer them away from medicine into more family- and life-friendly paths.
    Life’s short.


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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.

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