Socks and Docs Disappearing

I’ve been recovering from an annoying virus lately, which always reminds me of how close I am to retirement. I think of myself as being pretty healthy most of the time and I can still make it up and down about 20 flights of stairs on average. I can wear out an ordinary pair of socks and a few residents and medical students pretty fast.

That reminds me, my wife gave me some more socks.

New Socks

Columbia is a major brand. Their advertising reminds me of Darn Tough, although Columbia makes a lot more than just socks. The chairman, Ma Boyle, is tough as nails, so I’m looking for these socks to stand up to some serious stair-stepping punishment.

Drawing by Evelyn Qin
Drawing by medical student Evelyn Qin

You might not think of doctors as being not so tough anymore, but an article about disappearing docs makes you wonder. The author says America could lose a million doctors by 2025. I wonder how many of those will be graying out? Lacking the required number of physicians can make modern doctors feel like smokejumpers. Tell me about it.

Psychiatric consultant as smokejumper
Psychiatric consultant as smokejumper
Del hanging out
Del, one of the mascots, hanging out




There are a lot of reasons why there aren’t enough doctors: it takes a long time to train them, the primary care physicians needed don’t get paid enough, there aren’t enough of them to go where they’re urgently needed, and more.

One of the biggest reasons will come to be the short-sighted insistence on complying with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). However, Kentucky just got it right by sending a bill to the governor to sign just recently that will make it illegal for the state medical board to tie medical licensure to participation in MOC:

Moreover, doctors nowadays also aren’t too keen on working insane hours, like the geezers before them who just took it in the teeth.

Retirement looks better every year that passes. We saw a sign advertising one of the cooperatives for elders:

Vintage coop living

Sound good? I’m just hoping I’ve got as much on the ball as the century club if I ever get that old. If I’m lucky, I’ll just feel “ordinarily.” And I know “Work never killed anybody,” but I remember (and so does my wife) nodding nose-first asleep in my dinner post call. I think it’s a good thing new doctors don’t have to do that anymore.