We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, June 1. 2014
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I agree that licensing of florists is silly, but what about for doctors and engineers?
engineers? WHAT engineers?
There are thousands of branches and sub branches of engineering.
Do you want to require a government license for a car mechanic? That's an engineer...
Or a welder? That's an engineer...
Or a bricklayer, a computer specialist, a glass blower, you get the idea.
No, there's no need for licensing all that. Leave it to the market, and the ones without the skills aren't going to be able to hold a job for long.
Leave it to government licensing boards, and before you know it there's another protected group with mandatory union membership required to get "licensed", and the only other requirement being able to hand over a fee.
My particular concern with engineers is that their failures in design can remain hidden for years or decades before they kill.
Design a concrete bridge and the next earthquake, the weakness in the rebar causes failure and collapse.
There are huge pressures to lower costs and corners are sometimes cut. Even the best engineers sometimes push the envelope.
I think we all agree for airline pilots, surgeons, engineers, and other life affecting professions licensing is good. But, still half of them graduated in the bottom 50 percent of their class. So they're not perfect.
But, a manicurist??? Or florist???
I don't think I need the government to ensure I didn't pay for delivery of roses and find my wife received for an anniversary gift instead dandelions picked from a ditch down the road from my house. (And bless my wife, she'd rather I picked dandelions myself and didn't waste money on roses...but that's another issue.)
No, we all don't agree on that. I'm a US educated and trained physician and I'm licensed in my state and board certified in my specialty - so I have no axe to grind.
I am opposed to licensing. In fact, I would prefer that people be allowed to purchase medications WITHOUT permission from a physicians, i.e. without a prescription.
All of this presumes responsibility. Jones should be permitted to seek treatment for whatever ails him from whomever he desires - including himself. He should also assume responsibility for his actions. Likewise, whomever treats him should assume responsibility for their actions. This includes advertising. If Smith falsely holds himself out to have certain education and training and doesn't, he should be held liable.
The requirement for licensure creates an oligopoly which reduces consumer choice and raises prices.
With the advent of the internet, many people do a good job of figuring out what the doctor would do for them anyway. MOST people are probably less accurate than MOST doctors, but also less costly.
Like JT Wenting says, let's leave it to the market. Licensing often gives a false sense of security. People assume that because Smith has a license to practice medicine, that he's "safe" and "effective", but that's far from true. The market does a better job of weeding out dangerous and ineffective providers in any field. Why give crappy doctors a seal of approval they don't deserve?
Here's an eye opener for most people. In most states, a doctor who completes medical school and one year of training (in any field or just a general internship) and passes a general test (not a specialty exam) can get a license to practice "medicine and surgery". Someone who has a one year internship in general practice gets the same license as someone who has completed a 7 year residency in neurosurgery. There isn't a different license for family practice versus cardiac surgery versus neurosurgery.
re The requirement for licensure creates an oligopoly which reduces consumer choice and raises prices.
Exactly right Mike M. I recall studying cases back in college. Want to raise the price of a good or service? License the providers.
1. Why did you get a board certification in your specialty if you didn't think its important?
2. Does non-licensing give a better sense of security? While I'm willing to entertain the idea that a heavy percentage of doctors are incompetent quacks, I don't see why I should assume that unlicensed practitioners are more competent because they didn't attend medical school. In other words, I correctly assume that "M.D." stands for some minimal level of professional training absent from the 15 year old kid on the corner selling drugs, representing a criminal narcotics ring. If I want a GP, I'll find a GP who'll handle routine medical issues. I assume that your certification in whatever specialty you are certified in is an indicia of a minimum level competence in a more difficult field, so whatever letters follow your name gets you more credibility than all the Yelp /Ann's List / Google + who "like" the local witch doctor. Absent the license and certifications, that's what your market will be.
3. Do you really want unlicensed pushers / self-medicating patients prescribing and consuming even more antibiotics? Haven't you professionals done enough harm in that way? At least you have, I assume, professional associations or publications that warn of the long term hazards of dispensing antibiotics like candy, and absent even that apparently feckless brake, the situation would be even worse.
4. If you are unconcerned about non-professionals invading the traditional doctor-patient market, are you also unconcerned about drug research, development, approval and marketing being even more of a popularity contest? You mention "treatment" but you're assuming that the treatment is effective, a reasonable assumption since the pharmaceuticals and the FDA are both full of M.D.s and PhDs.
5. If Smith holds himself out as having more training or skill than he does, I already have a recourse, its called either "medical malpractice" or "practicing medicine without a license".
6. While your family GP with one year internship might have a license to practice "medicine and surgery", is that going to convince the credentials committee at the hospital that she should have neurosurgery privileges?
7. I don't care whether the hairdresser is licensed or not, because a bad haircut is just a bad haircut. But if my kid is playing high school football, I want the team doctor to be an M.D. and not a faith healer, and if I have to pay a premium because the AMA restricts consumer choices and raises prices, well, duh.
my GP usually has interns working on work experience tracts for their study.
Most patients prefer them over the GP himself because they're better at the job than he is, more enthousiastic, more likely to think outside the little box the GP has painted himself into, ending up blaming everything on the same few causes and prescribing the same few drugs for everything...
Not to mention that in WA state they tried to license interior designers!
Sometimes its the group that being licensed that wants the licensing using government to be their enforcer. It limits competition and increases income for that group.
sometimes? Make that mostly...
It's a way to reduce competition, allowing the established businesses to increase prices by lowering availability.
Why license any profession?
To make it more difficult for those not already in the system to get in and thus to allow higher profits and wages. Peel back the layers of BS and you will find special interest groups who "buy" legislators to do their bidding. This is dirty politics or crony politics and it is in fact what most local politicians run for office to do.