In a new and dramatic initiative, education wunderkind Wendy Kopp has launched her new initiative, Doctor for America. DFA will recruit graduating college seniors to staff our most needy hospitals.
"These people in the poorest communities in America have scandalous health care. The statistics show that they are dying at a far greater rate from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and injuries. We think the most talented kids in America, those from the elite schools like I and my friends attended, can solve this problem."
DFA doctors will be placed in emergency rooms, surgery theaters, oncology clinics and throughout the hospital to provide immediate care. They will receive a summer training before starting their rounds and will take some classes in evenings and on weekends.
Kopp scoffs at the idea that doctors need rigorous and extensive training. "Ninety percent of the things doctors do are routine. Computers spit out the data, you can Google the diagnosis. What's the big deal?" With the help from massive grants from the Gates and Broad Foundations, DFA has developed a series of protocols based on the statistics of health care challenges and appropriate interventions. "You have diabetes? We'll prescribe insulin. How much? Well, look at the test results and the weight of the patient, it's on the chart. No big deal."
What about surgery? "Hey, sometimes you have to use the ambulance personnel, emergency medical technicians, you know? They are pretty awesome. But for a lot of surgery... did you ever see those Civil War movies and those doctors working with saws and tourniquets? Awesome stuff." We will rely on a battery of tests to determine if patients are well and to evaluate how quickly the hospitals manage to move them out.
Doctor for America claims that medical schools provide very little value added to the ability of physicians to treat illness. Indeed, they find that doctors working in the poorest communities have the worst health outcomes, indicating that these doctors just don't care and are hanging on to their jobs.
Members of the American Medical Association have raised some objections to the DFA project but Kopp has dismissed them. "Why all the whining? They are just trying to protect their jobs. What has the AMA done for you lately? Actually, when you think about it, 100 percent of people end up dying. I would guess we can do better than that."
Analysts from Harvard University and the University of Chicago have concluded that market forces, rather than medical principles, are likely to do a better job in improving the health of Americans.
Kopp has further plans for after DFA. "Airline pilots. Think about it. They get that thing up there and the computers take over for 99 percent of the flight."
The internet's best stories, and interviews with the people who tell them. Learn more