The Paper Ceiling Ads and Failure to Diagnose Malpractice

NeuwirthLawCase Matters, Medical Malpractice, Standard of Care

Have you seen these ads trying to build public support for the idea that college degrees are not  the only important credential.  Regardless what the paper ceiling ads try to tell you or your local tradesperson says, completing college makes an enormous difference in your lifetime income in America. If lifetime income is not your focus, then I appreciate the paper ceiling ads attempt to make the college degree less of the be all and end all of credentials. However, college degrees like a lot of things in life build your credibility as an employee and allow for faster growth over time.

There are a lot of people for whom trades are going to be a great way for success over time, but it is currently not a way to grow one’s long term income prospects.  People will complain endlessly about how hard it is to find a plumber, but you still see 50 different plumbing company trucks driving around.  Why? Because the barrier to entry is fairly low.  No college degree required.  High school and solid on the job training as an apprentice. Since the barrier to entry is low, there is a lot of competition and not a lot of growth potential.  I may be screwing up economics, but that is how I see it.

In medicine, a lot of bad ER and primary care medical decisions are made by physician extenders, who are not properly supervised because the supervisors are way overbusy. The community of insurers and nurses attempted to employ physician extenders, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in place of doctors.  The intent is similar to the paper ceiling.  Maybe we don’t need the person with the medical degree went the thinking. Unfortunately, human biology and disease is very complicated and while the plumbers of the medical community, your primary care doctors, are being squeezed out of the profession, any physician with a hint of specialization simply cannot be replaced. If your education stops at a certain level of nursing or physician assistant, how are you going to recognize that something bad is going on with your patient?  You are not. So, the paper ceiling is going to present a problem. Do you mind the paper ceiling if it involves your toilet? Maybe not. Do you mind it if your disease is misdiagnosed and your life cut short or harmed? Probably.