“Have you met Dr. Steve Fleck?” Dr. Byck asks. “No. Who’s he?” “A real character. Before you leave, you must meet Steve Fleck.” One evening, in a quiet corridor, a frail white-haired man shuffles by, his eyes fixed on the floor. He is thin as a skeleton in his long white coat. His nametag reads: “Steve Fleck, M.D., Psychiatry.” “Dr. Fleck,” I call to him, “Dr. Byck says I have to meet you. I’m Dora Wang. I’m applying for psychiatry residencies.” He shakes my hand, nods, and looks back at the floor. “Do you have any advice for a new doctor starting out?” Our hands are still grasped when he utters the only two words I will ever hear from his lips, words I will always remember. “Single payer.” He turns and shuffles down the hall.
~ Excerpt from - The Kitchen Shrink (pgs. 122 – 123)
I was a Psychology major when I was an undergraduate student. I wanted to be an Industrial Organizational Psychologist. I didn’t want to be a Psychologist that listened to peoples’ problems all day long. That would have been depressing to my soul and draining to my spirit. I definitely would have never been a Psychiatrist. I thought this was just going to be a book on Psychiatry. It was and it wasn’t. Dr. Wang talked about her career in Psychiatry from being an eager medical student, to an overworked professional. When Dr. Fleck said the word “Single Payer” to her, he was foreshadowing future events involving health care. Throughout the book, you could see where the Health Insurance Industry had taken over the medical profession. Doctors in the book went from being concerned about patient wellness to meeting quotas. I kept reading the book going “so that’s why my Doctor does that.” It was an eye opener to the reality of our modern healthcare. In my opinion, the beauty of the book was how she humanized her patients. Many of us look at people with psychotic behavior and shun them but we forget they are human beings too. I highly recommend this book for individuals thinking about a career in the medical profession.