For someone whose lifespan covers more than fifty years, one of the great differences between yesterday and today is the way doctors operate. The movies rightly depict doctors being called out in the middle of the night to rush to the bedside of a delirious, or ill person or to a lady that needs help in bringing new life into the world. In times of epidemic, the doctor would sleep while his horse and buggy took him to the next call. Much of the time when it came time for the doctor to leave a cured patient, he was given a chicken, eggs or perhaps a slab of cured hog meat in payment. Many times he would simply write off a bill when he knew the poor condition of his patient's family. The family doctor was well named, because he seemed to be part of the family. He was devoted to his calling and purpose of helping others get and stay well. He took pride in watching the numbers of children grow that he had assisted birthing. His lifetime committment meant that he was still around to deliver the child or grandchild of someone he had delivered years before. He thought of others before himself.
He really cared for those he cared for. He loved his work and he loved his patients. Sometimes he would make calls upon people who hadn't called... just to check upon them. He didn't let a golf game interfere with his duty.
Normally he was proud and honored when one of those he delivered felt the call to follow in his footsteps in the calling.
Times have changed. The medical profession for the most part has a different breed of doctors. The AMA has excluded all but men & women who meet their criteria from the profession. The unofficial unionizing and the excessive educational costs have given doctors the rational that they deserve contiuing payback for their sacrifices. Patients who become misdiagnosed or mistreated began to bring exhorbitant lawsuits against doctors.. soon lawyers smelled the seemingly bottomless piggy bank and wormed their way for portions of the settlements. Insurance companies smelled the seemingly bottomless piggy bank and came in with promises and premiums. Doctors had no recourse but to restrict their clients as to their ability to pay, or restructure their billing to make the wealthy make up for the unwealthy. They resorted to the hourly scale instead of the circumstances. They began to price their commodity in relation to the scarcity of its availability.
The only way doctors could go back to their hypocratic oaths would be for society to back off from the love of money and for those in the medical profession to realize their God given gifts.