Friday, June 6, 2014

VA Spa

Like many surgeons, part of my training was done at the VA Medical Center or the VA Spa as it was known.  We called it the "SPA" because it was the place where you had to learn to  relax.  In our training at the University Hospital it was not uncommon to be working 17 hours a day.  You get  to the VA and they wouldn't even start any OR cases until 830 or 900.  If you happened to be operating after 230 you could look out the window of the door of your operating room and see that all the other lights were off and they had closed shop.  There was never a problem parking because even though the clinics were supposed to start at 8, most employees didn't show up to 830 or 900.  Everyone got 1 1/2 hours off for lunch not to mention every holiday. 

I say it was the place you had to learn to relax because yelling at the staff for not doing their jobs accomplished nothing.  In fact, they did even less.  There were those who really cared and tried, but the whole system seemed to be set up to punish those who tried to correct the problems.  I hope this recent publicity will finally bring attention to the whole problem.  Then again, the VA is government single payer healthcare!  Who knows the VA may be the model for the final Obamacare.

1 comment:

SeaSpray said...

God forbid!

But ..just imagine ...the VA is ONLY serving the vets - NOT the entire American population and they are completely funded to give quality care. COMPLETELY FUNDED vs the financial DRAIN the ACA will be to the health care system once it gets going ...which will in turn compromise availability and quality of care.

Since surgeons seem to be driven people and used to the hard, demanding work ...why would the VA surgeons want to work so little and does that cause them to get soft, not challenged enough ...thus not cutting edge? Or do some surgeons schedule lightly anyway?

I would feel so guilty if I did not do all the work I could do while on the job. i don't know how people can justify that and feel good about the quality of their work. Furthermore ...in the VA case ..how could they even LIVE with themselves? (Rhetorical question :)

I too hope they fix it but with this administration ...who can keep track of everything on so many fronts going wrong and provide follow through when we seemingly have to give our attention to the scandal du jour.

Unbelievable. Words. No accountability ..thus no follow through in correcting the wrongs.