Thursday, January 7, 2010

It Makes Me Mad

Tonight, Patrick and I were talking about a friend of ours. She is so sweet. And trying like heck to be a pediatrician. No lie. Lola puts here whole heart and soul into her internship. But like most things, scholarships took a hard hit with the downward economy. To make things worse, she is a little stubborn. And wants to do this on her own. Bare with us all, we have days to figure out how to save her internship for her.

It still shocks me that someone who has a 4.0 in college, only receives $50 a semester. That for a state university, she pays close to $16,000 a semester. And can't get financial help to save her life. All of the doctors that Lola works with, see her potential as a doctor. I know that is why they are all fighting so hard to keep her in her internship. But it is so difficult to do so.

We all feel so passionately because Lola is like everyone's little sister. My husband initially met her at work. He was a resident, she was an intern. And they became good friends. Before long, Lola was babysitting for our kids. We wanted to help her with her mounting school costs. And this was a way that she could work. Oh, and she is a darn good cook!!! Beyond all of this, Lola is a really good person.

On any given day, Lola is making little toys for the kids in the peds departments. She tries to make the kids feel as comfortable as possible. Watching NASCAR races with the little boys. Playing dress up with the little girls. And spending her breaks holding the preemies. You honestly couldn't find someone better, than Lola, to go into the medical field.

It just makes me so mad that our government wastes so much money on stupid things. Or that they pay for athletes to go to school because they can throw a ball. But they are lucky to make a D in a basic class. I hope the President Obama realizes that until he fixes things like this, the health care system will never be fixed. If people can't afford to become doctors, people will never be able to afford to go to a doctor. Let's just use some common sense here.

Patrick and I were just lucky. We came from families that had a little bit of money. We also went to school, years before the economic crash. When financial aid was available. And after all his training, Patrick landed a very good job. Because we do have friends who have not been so lucky. We know many doctors who work 120 hours a week, and use 70% of their checks to pay off student loans. Essentially, they work as doctors and live at or below the poverty level. That's sad.

I can see how so many people get discouraged and leave the field. I can also see why our country is short so many doctors. I just hope that we are able to help Lola secure her internship. I know that no one else would be happier to see her become a doctor than me. Maybe because I have known her since she began this journey. Or maybe because she is living out the life I had start so many years ago. But I do hope that Lola can get the help that she needs. I can't imagine a better pediatrician in the entire world!

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