Considering how much of an effect this presidential election has on the future of medicine, I’d be surprised if every med student isn’t taking the night off, or at the very least keeping a tab open, to watch the states as they as they pick the color they’ll be wearing for the next four years. Unfortunately, that also means that none of you jerks are gonna read this column. For the rest of the night and — given our age group’s goldfish-like attention span — maybe even the next day or two, the only thing on our minds will be what President *fill in the blank* will be doing about our future careers.
The first years are undoubtedly thinking that by the end of our stay here, when our time has come to walk across that stage and get an MD tacked onto the end of our name, we will have experienced the full effect of the new president’s medical policies. For the fourth years, now only months away from realizing that goal, they may be beginning their “real” medical practice as interns in one of the most exciting times for the U.S. medical system since the early 1900s when employer-sponsored insurance first came onto the scene. In short, times are a-changin’.
Fortunately for the future of health care, regardless of where you stand concerning the ACA (or Obamacare) and its possible “decline and fall,” it seems we all agree on one thing: something needs to change. Somehow we need to figure out how to provide everyone with at least basic health care without compromising the quality of the care already being delivered. And like it or not, whoever manages to seduce the most states (or rather, electoral votes) will get to decide how we make that happen.
So, if by some chance you find yourself reading this and the decision hasn’t been made yet, go catch the race — she’s a real nail biter. And if it’s later in the week and the decision has already been made, drop us a (respectful, kind, non-vulgar, yet still opinionated) line in the comments and let us know why you think we did or didn’t pick the right man for the job.