Jay Crawford, MD

AAOS Now

Published 11/1/2019
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Jay Crawford, MD

Payers, I’m More Interested in My Value Than Yours

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the Editor’s Message titled, “Are We Paid Too Much?” which was written by Eeric Truumees, MD, FAAOS, and published in the September issue of AAOS Now.

I enjoyed the Editor’s Message by Eeric Truumees, MD, FAAOS, about orthopaedic surgeons’ pay. I published a similar article for Stat News, discussing the epiphany I had about surgeon pay after I myself became a patient.

In order to gain the largest audience possible, I used hyperbole to excite a strong reaction from those both sympathetic and unsympathetic to my message. The response has satisfied me.

Those who believe that health care should be provided for free by people and institutions that magically survive on moonbeams and karma were incited to near riot. Both those who have received and provide care were overjoyed to see their similar beliefs stated in such an unapologetic and, admittedly, over-the-top fashion.

I received hundreds of emails from physicians in the United States and elsewhere thanking me for publishing the article. The take-home point for me is that there is a place for diplomacy, but in the end, we have to stand up to the injustices of a constant assault on the value of our work. The “value” for the payer is all that we have talked about for 10 years now. But, just like Spicoli and Mr. Hand’s conversation regarding “my time” versus “our time” in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” we need to remind everyone that our value is also important in the ecosystem where American citizens’ disabilities are prevented through the hard work, dedication, and exhaustive training of orthopaedic surgeons.

Jay Crawford, MD, is a practicing orthopaedic surgeon and member of OrthoFounders (www.orthofounders.com).

Reference 

  1. Crawford J: My Hand Surgeon Should Have Been Paid $4.5 Billion for Fixing My Broken Wrist, Not $1,000. Available at: https://www.statnews.com/2019/08/28/hand-surgeon-payment-entrepreneur-reward/. Accessed September 27, 2019.