By Invitation

Doctors and the allure of money

How driven are physicians by money? There are quicker ways to riches, and the pursuit of wealth for its own sake can be a harmful obsession

During the recent debate on rising healthcare costs, doctors who overcharged for their services were fingered as one of the reasons.

I was reminded of an article that Harvard surgeon and author Atul Gawande had written for The New Yorker. The title of the piece is Piecework and, soon after the opening paragraph, he commented that doctors would usually gripe about their dismal pay while in training, but once they have qualified in their specialities and are well ensconced in their own practice, they would become skittish about their income.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Doctors and the allure of money'. Print Edition | Subscribe