Patients and time with their doctor

dr rick

Why are patients so dissatisfied with their physicians today? Probably because physicians are not satisfied with their practices. About half of the doctors in the United States today are facing burnout with ever increasing numbers of physicians leaving practice.

Today the American Medical System has continually gone backwards and it seems the main complaint across the country right now is based around technology. Patients say, “My doctor never even looks at me while I am in the room.” Depending on whose statistics you look at, most physicians today are only starting their day when they finish seeing patients. It is then time to do the charting – sitting and watching a viewing screen trying to input the rest of their patients’ information from the day. Physicians are often putting in at least an eleven-hour day, all this for their corporate employers who judge a physician by how many beans he can make in a day. Translated, that usually means how many patients can he see in one day or in actuality how many tests he can order in one day.  Patient satisfaction and lastly their own doctor’s satisfaction are not part of that equation.

When was the last time you saw a doctor sitting on the side of their patient’s bed holding their patient’s hand and talking to them in a heart to heart manner? I cannot remember myself after having been in medicine more than fifty years now. I just attended my fifty-year class reunion from medicine at the University of Nebraska. Twenty-eight of us have already passed away out of a class of 77. Not one physician I talked to thought medicine was going the right direction. After pointing out the shortcomings of health care and the moral obligations we are currently neglecting, a number of my classmates came up and talked to me after our lunch and said, “Good job, Rick. I’d love to help you but my heart is not in this anymore. I am tired and burned out and medicine is going to continue its downhill course.”

Medicine will continue its downward slog in the U.S. By my estimation it is only about ten years until the United States of America, Late Great, I should say, will rank 100th to 200th in the world. In a once proud country where a couple years ago only 2-300,000 patients per year left the country for their medical care. It is now 2-3,000,000 patients per year and that number will keep on climbing as more patients realize we do not rank number one in the world in healthcare, but we do rank number one in poor outcomes and what we charge you to get those outcomes. Thank heavens, healthcare is the third leading cause of death in our country behind heart disease and cancer. Just think when it ranks first how much suffering that will save us.

God bless you from the Maverick Doctor,
Rick R. Redalen, M.D.

Pick up a copy of my book God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn, available on Amazon.

Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit or email him at