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In this book, I hope to enlighten readers about the physician's life, and how the current medical climate has affected everything we do, every decision we make and our career satisfaction. The deterioration of the doctor-patient relationship has gotten worse and worse, fraught with mistrust from both ends of the stethoscope. If we are to turn the current situation around, we must understand the issues.

My purpose is to inform and educate people about the life of a doctor, the rigorous training involved, the daily routine of medical practice and the difficulties of reconciling the business of medicine with our ultimate goal of healing. My emphasis is on how the health care and malpractice crises affect physicians, and on how the doctor-patient relationship has suffered. Through a combination of personal reflections, surveys of physicians, statistical references and examples, I paint a picture of the physician that is more reality based than the TV shows, yet just as dramatic. This book attempts to portray physicians as people, not commodities and not technical robots, not the ultra rich and certainly not the heartless.

I felt that I had something to contribute to the health care literature, especially in light of the changes coming as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. While there is promise of improving access to health care for patients, the burdens placed on physicians and their attitudes toward this legislation need to be expressed. We need to understand the issues from the physicians perspective, from the other end of the stethoscope.

My mission is to convey the importance for all people to pay attention to the medical profession, to understand their physicians struggles and rewards, and to assist in salvaging the relationship that is suffering between doctor and patient. Suggestions for possible solutions to the ongoing problems facing doctors in this country are presented. I hope this book helps to promote better communication and transparency in the medical field. My advice to those of you considering a career in medicine or surgery; Go into it with open eyes and open hearts. For the rest of you, humanity, please remember that physicians too are only human.

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