Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I want to talk about negativity.

But first, look at this picture. My friend emailed it to me. It's a lake in Burma somewhere. See anything interesting about it? We'll revisit it at the end of this post.

So negativity - that swirling maelstrom of mind-draining horribleness. It's in ample supply everywhere these days, it seems. It's effusing the blogosphere, politics, my daily life, everything! I'm tired of it. Negativity is like a foul contaminant, only a tiny micron drop of it is enough to ruin things.

Last Friday while playing poker (I lost, of course) with the usual group of friends, the topic of the recently passed health care bill came up. Now in this group of med students I've rarely felt such negativity towards something. All they could see is the negative aspects that may (or may not) affect them/us.

And while they complained about possible reduction in pay and increased taxes, I mentioned, "It doesn't matter - in the end, I'm still going to be making more than my parents. Combined." I guess that wasn't good enough because they continued to go off. Aiden mentioned the notion of a federal mandate and how it may be unconstitutional. He was like, "Sure, it's federal mandate that you have to get auto insurance. But you don't have to drive. If you do drive, you're potentially putting yourself and others at risk, so it makes sense to have an insurance mandate there. With health care you can maybe make an argument, but not so much." To which I responded, "You know, every public health worker would disagree with you."

The following day, I said to Aiden (who'll be one of the M2 free clinic managers), "You know, with this health care bill, the free clinic would be obsolete because patients will have health insurance." To which he again replied, "If it's not struck down as unconstitutional in the Supreme Court." Almost as if he wants it to be struck down! It's just, I don't know - I'm rather speechless.

The health care bill wasn't exactly meant for health professionals, but for patients. It's for the people we're supposed to one day care for, not for us. Being doctors shouldn't be about the pay, we shouldn't be trying to maximize our own salaries. Sadly, the $160K+ loan screams otherwise. And all of that is just wrong. :-/

Do I think the health care bill is perfect or the next best thing since sliced bread? No. I'm sure it's greatly flawed. BUT I do sincerely feel that it's a step in the right direction.

Now I want to talk about positivity. I'll start with the health care bill since that's where I left off with. Again, I believe the health care bill is a step in the right direction. I was talking to a public health friend of mine, and she basically told me that the entire public health school was cheering. Odd - the public health sector cheers while the medicine sector groans. Shouldn't the two be more aligned?

Anyway, while I was in DC, I asked my friends about the health care bill. They were both overwhelmingly in support. My best friend told me that his girlfriend is basically counting on this health care bill to pass, because in a few months she'll have to be taken off her parents' health insurance (when she turns 26 or something). She has a heart condition for which she takes a pill every day (alas, I don't know what the heart condition is). As long as she takes her meds she's fine. But they're rather expensive and if she doesn't take them, she passes out. A lot. She's currently a nanny for a few families, and obviously that job has no health insurance. So she's basically hoping for this to pass by the time she's taken off her parents' health insurance and/or her meds run out.

So perhaps my experiences and the experiences of some of the people I know sway my thoughts. And it does seem that I have a more liberal bent to my views than many of my peers (which is odd, because in undergrad my views were pretty moderate). To learn more about the health care bill, the NY Times did an excellent job compiling several articles they wrong on the subject here. And this article in particular struck a chord.

In other news of positivity, I got both positions I ran for (as I mentioned in this post)! So I got the positions for APAMSA co-president and FMSA patient education co-chair. W00t! :-P This is exciting, now I have the power to enact changes to the frustration of the current systems. Hopefully my vision will be more efficient/effective than the outgoing people's.
This doesn't really fall into either of the above categories (though I suppose it could fall under "Negativity"), but there are couple friends who I'll never come out to. I was chatting on AIM with Harry and the topic of homosexuality and bisexuality came up. He's basically uncomfortable with both because: 1.) it's against the natural order of things - like, evolutionary dead end; and 2.) he thinks most homosexuals are actually confused and not "really" gay. I spent a good while discussing with him how his views are inaccurate and fall apart easily. But I can only do so much without challenging him to a mental duel - which I would win but would lose him to my "cause" in the aftermath. Oh well.

And now, to reveal the specialness of the picture at the very beginning of this post . . .

That picture (supposedly) is taken on a particular day at a particular time. And if you flip the picture 90-degrees, you get this:
Isn't that cool?! I don't know if it's PhotoShop'd, but I sure hope not. It's pretty amazing.

And lastly before I go (I know I've ranted quite without much structure a bit in this post), I'd just like to say that I wonder where Dave from Daze Gone Bi is. Has anyone seen/heard from him? Last he blogged, his laptop had serious issues and needed to get fixed. But that was over a month ago. :-/

I sent him an email but he hasn't replied. I hope everything's alright and that he returns to the blogosphere very soon. I quite miss him and his posts. In the mean time, I hope everything's going well for him!!


. said...

Hey Aek, well written entry as always. I enjoy reading your blog SO much. I'll comment more. I have limited access to the net this week but I'll be back soon. Have a good week!! I like the picture whether it is real or fake. And yeah I'm am one of those who believes in the health care policy President Obama pushed to get!! Have a great week!!

naturgesetz said...

That is an amazing pic.

Healthcare: The way it is is not good because too many people can't afford insurance. Maybe costs are out of control too. Anyway we need to insure the uninsurable. How much should be covered? Do we have to provide the poverty stricken with everything a billionaire could buy? Do we use insurance? Pay the premiums for those who can't afford them? Create a government insurance agency for those who can't afford private insurance?

But we need to do something.

James said...

I rotated the image several times in my mind, but because I pay so much attention to fine detail and so little to the big picture, I missed whatever you were trying to show me. Lol!

I do have a thing or two to say about negativity. Misery and discomfort are the average state of affairs for most humans. So, I think it's only too natural for us to have a default to gripe, it's one of the world's favorite pastimes.

Negativity is also a way of life and part of culture for many people. My family comes from a part of the US where life is lived out with the constant expectation that things will turn out bad. When they don't, we're all the more pleasantly surprised. :P

Seth said...

(being negative like I usually am) - I think that's probably a photochop image.

(Positive) congrats on the positions!


Anonymous said...

I miss Dave too. Both of you have blogs that are always fun to read.
(FWIW, I think if he doesn't have computer access to the web to deal with his blog, he probably also has problems accessing email. Just a guess)

Anon MD

Anonymous said...

A Sailor Boy's Blog is no more. It's no longer posted. It will be missed. Unfortunately, few blog posters showed the maturity of Jefferson.

call.the.shots said...

wow. so beautiful. ur blog post are always so filled with knowledge and wisdom! =D