The idea for this issue’s cover story came from casual chats and e-mails with doctor friends and neighbors about their profession. I was kind of surprised to hear so much frustration and even sadness as they talked about their jobs. One e-mailed, “At times I feel like a Third World country exploited for its natural resources, indentured with debt loaned with the promise of realizing the American dream.” Many of them, dedicated though they are to their profession, said they probably wouldn’t choose to go into medicine if they had to do it all over — and they surely won’t advise their children to follow in their footsteps.
With doctor shortages looming and none of us getting any younger, that’s bad news. As a patient, I have often been frustrated by the inefficient and uncoordinated way medical care is sometimes delivered. However, when a family member is sick, there’s nothing so remarkable as finding doctors who have devoted their careers to remedying what has gone wrong. I hope “What’s Ailing Doctors?” can help promote better understanding — by patients and doctors alike — of the challenges in our medical system.
Also in this issue, our special section on Women’s Health tackles the controversial issue of hormone replacement therapy. What’s the best way for women to manage the changes related to menopause? What are the risks?
And even though summer has faded, I hope Patty Seebeck’s memories of her vacation — an experience she manages to recapture with an authentic Greek recipe — will warm your kitchen this fall.
To your health!