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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: doctors of the nation - unite?
Date: 06 May 1997

In <5km167$> (M.BRAFF())
> One of the doctors in this group mentioned that the VA is run
> by interns and residents.  Is this the choice of the government?

And I might add parenthetically that it's not the larger role of
interns and residents that makes the V.A.s what they are, for the
residents and interns are the same everyplace, and they're mostly
pretty good.   No, the VA is made unique by the low quality of nurses
and other support staff which a government (is forced to) hire, by the
low quality of the physical plants the government maintains, and by the
general lack of money and overwhelming bureaucracy that permeates the
system (which results in low levels of attending oversight).

I've done rotations in 3 VA's in 2 states, and they all sucked.  I've
seen them as student, intern, resident, fellow, and even (for a year)
as an attending.  They sucked from every angle.   If you must be sick,
be sick in the best private hospital in town, which is probably the
best hospital in town.  Down the list are other private hospitals, and
the university med centers (unless you have something really rare, in
which case you want the university).  Stay away from VA's like the

                                        Steve Harris, M.D.

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