Atul Gawande's recent commencement speech to Harvard Medical School is here. Read it if you like. It won't exactly send chills down your spine, to say the least.
His essential message is this: Healthcare is far too complex for any one doctor anymore. So gear up to be an interchangeable part, a faceless drone who performs menial tasks according to checklists and algorithms that Really Smart People will provide for you. Don't be a Cowboy (in the romanticized, individualistic sense of a bygone era) unless you want to be like a real live lower-case "c" cowboy in Wyoming who functions as part of a team and follows protocols (Dr Gawande talked to one himself, it's true!). All that debt you've taken on to be a physician? It's so you can be an anonymous member of an integrated Team. Like a Pit Crew. Who doesn't get jacked up to join a pit crew? I sure do!!!
Is it any wonder that Dr Gawande is the very Messiah of future healthcare delivery to people like Maggie Mahar and Ezra Klein? Not a word about being a better physician, about recapturing the old ethic of patient ownership. Nothing about the challenges individual doctors face to stay on top of new medical developments and how they can be surmounted. Nothing about personal accountability. Nothing about putting your heart and soul into this noble calling.