A thought occurred to me today. We pay doctors an awful lot. And then of course we demand that they pay high medical practice insurance, and their educational costs are pretty darn high, too. Why do we pay doctors so much?
Well, the services that doctors give us improve our lives and even allow us to continue living when we might otherwise die. Life is pretty valuable to most of us– and it might be useful to examine the age in which we live, and what things teach us that life is so valuable. Perhaps it might even be useful to study violence as seen through the lens of the extreme value of life. Not only does violence seem more abhorrent to most of us– it is also perhaps more potent as a form of expression and as an influence upon us in our world of relative peace (not to discount the current conflicts in the world). Sorry– bit of a tangent there.
So the value of life is part of why we pay doctors so much. Perhaps we pay doctors a lot because their services are scarce as well. So we currently have 1)value of life, 2) scarcity of medical services, and here’s another one I’ll introduce, but as a question– Does paying doctors more actually improve their service?
Or, supposition 3) the improved service that higher pay can buy, not in the form of better technology or the like, but in improved performance for higher pay.
In some jobs, higher performance means better pay, but in other jobs this is seen as ineffective. Example: Business consultants are paid more if they have more prestige, experience or success under their belt. However, the consensus isn’t exactly the same with High School teachers– some still think this would be useful or a true principle, but others (I think most people) disagree.
The basic reasoning may have something to do with how ‘sure’ results seem to be for each of these professions or situations.
So, does it really work? Or should we rate doctors in other ways? How do we get better service from doctors?