How America Treats Its Doctors

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by Raúl Ilargi Meijer


George Bellows The Lone Tenement 1909
 

 

Our resident physician John Day in Texas comes with an update on his situation. It seems his clinic no longer seeks to fire him for refusing to be vaccinated, they now claim it’s for cause (it’s not). A doctor who has been free to decide medical treatments for and with his patients for many years, all of a sudden cannot decide that for his own body.

And of course it’s not just America, and it’s not just doctors, it’s also pilots and nurses and soldiers and police men and women, and vaccine mandates are being introduced in many countries. That will deprive many fields in our societies of their leaders, and leave them occupied by followers only.

People who think for themselves, and wish to decide for themselves (as is their right), are being put out by the curb, and by the thousands. The resulting changes in society will be devastating. Losing all those years of experience and wisdom and kindness and intelligence will make us all a lot poorer. And why? It’s obviously not about logic, and it’s not about health. John:

 

 

John Day MD: Precariously Supported,

Yesterday was an odd day in several aspects. I had worked a long Friday at the clinic again, which did not go badly. I left nothing unfinished. We drove to the Yoakum homestead Friday night and got a good night of sleep.

Somehow, I felt very heavy and slow on Saturday and Sunday, so I trudged through three to four hours of pushing the little Honda mower, and did work in the garden, but ploddingly. I planted garlic for the winter/spring season, and tended the garden.

I continued to feel a weight of unease, and as we started the drive back to Austin, Sunday afternoon, I had a sense that I should really buy winter veggies to put in at the clinic garden, which I started in 2016, and tend for my coworkers. Putting things off until the end of the month, in my last two weeks of work there, seemed awkward.

We picked up a lot of winter greens and salad starts in little pots on our way into Austin, some for our Austin kitchen garden, but most for the clinic garden. I did a last harvest of the blackeyed pea row, then cut down the vines, and took them to some chickens that a friend of Jenny’s raises.

Yesterday (Monday) morning I worked in our kitchen garden again, preparing the beds for fall and winter, cleaning up the summer debris, and also planting an orange seedling in the bed in front of the house, where the February freeze had killed the one fruitful tree.

After eating, I went over to the clinic with an orange seedling, to replace the two that the February freeze had killed, and all of the winter salad and cooking-green seedlings to fill a couple of rows. I went through the entrance, put on a mask, and went through to the garden in the break area, with shovels and clippers, saying “hi” to a few people and smiling with my eyes. I went out through the garden gate, and brought in the orange tree, then the veggie starts.

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The orange tree needed to go in the large bed, which has a Mexican avocado seedling tree, and a banana plant that actually survived February. Mainly it has a lot of sweet potatoes. It’s a fairly large bed, and this has been a very good year for sweet potatoes. I filled the three gallon bucket that the tree was in with sweet potatoes, from just a few square feet that I cleared and dug up, before planting it, maybe one percent of that bed.

While I was digging up the sweet potatoes and digging the hole to put the orange tree in, my flip phone rang. I figured it was Jenny. I brushed some of the dirt off my hands and answered it. It was the nice and very well-mannered youngish man, who is currently Director of Human Resources, telling me that my last day of work had been changed from the last Friday of October to the Friday just passed, which was different from what I had been told last week, when the reason for my firing was changed from vaccine-mandate non-compliance, to all of the wrongs I have committed in the period of time since that mandate was announced.

It was a lousy spot for him to be put in, and he seemed uncomfortable having to put it into polite words. He had been trying to call me while I was working on our home garden, but I had not been carrying the phone. I told him that I was at the clinic garden, putting in some things for winter, and that he could talk to me in person. My presence in the garden was unanticipated, though I have worked on my day off frequently in the past couple of months.

We talked as I planted the orange tree and put the big sweet potatoes in the pot, handing it over to a couple of nurses taking their lunch. They had helped dig sweet potatoes last year, and I knew they wanted some. He politely explained that I was not to re-enter the building, and that my desk would be cleared out and boxed for me. The explanation was so polite that I sought clarification. I did negotiate that I could pick up a few notes at my desk with his presence and supervision, which we then did. My badge didn’t let me in this time. He had to use his. As we walked through the clinic to my desk, most people had their eyes down. A few coworkers looked me in the eyes, and I smiled with my eyes. I was comfortable in myself, and emanated that (I think).

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We grabbed a few boxes and made short work of the packing-up. I got everything, and we carried the three boxes to my little twenty four year old Ford Ranger pickup truck together. We went back to the garden and break-area through the gate, He thought it best that I just leave without planting the vegetables, but I prevailed upon him to keep his agreement to let me clean out the rows and do the planting.

He actually had a fair number of gardening questions, which I answered as I cleared the rows and planted for winter.  I worked expeditiously, taking about twenty to thirty minutes, as I explained the quality of the soil, and how building soil is one of the main objectives in successful gardening. If you don’t have enough garden to out produce what the squirrels, birds and other critters can eat, they will eat it all.  You need a big enough garden patch.

We walked back to the truck with shovels and clippers, talking about what’s next. The clinic will still pay me for these last two weeks of October, but my patients who are scheduled will not get to see me for a last visit. I have been doing everything possible to avoid leaving loose ends, and to write thorough chart notes, so it will be easy for the next doctor. I have tried to make suggestions for which doctor or practitioner might best match the needs and personality of each patient. I passed my list to give to the Director of Adult Medicine, who has been working hard and well on this transition. It’s not a complete list…

I am left to wonder why the clinic took surprise action to remove me from patient-care, while still paying my salary for two weeks. I suspect there was free-floating anxiety about what I might say or do. I had been informing people of the actual circumstances of my leaving, being fired for non-compliance with mandatory vaccination. The management has been consulting with attorneys the whole time, and somebody else is contesting her firing for non-compliance with that mandate, I am told. Governor Abbott did say that vaccine mandates are not tolerable in Texas, Monday of last week. I suspect that my being fired-for-cause, other than non-compliance with COVID vaccination might be more plausible when the date of my firing is moved forward from the prior date of my termination for non-compliance

I do not intend to contest my firing through recourse to the law. The only law I am really, currently concerned with is the Law of Karma, and I am very concerned with that law. I am constantly aware of the implications of Karma as we wade further into this rip-tide of history.

Human Horticulturist

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