Mycrodacrial infracticallation, infarcitalocean, dang it...

Mycrodacrial infracticallation, infarcitalocean, dang it...

We wanted to add scribes to our department.  Some docs thought it would be nice to have someone to follow us around and record our charting on our fancy EMR.  It would have made us more efficient, and for those less facile at computers, it would have eased their technological burden.

We envisioned nursing and pre-medical students, for whom it would have been a phenomenal opportunity to learn and see, to listen and experience.  Heck, if you scribed for a seasoned physician (who would invariably teach) for two years, when you began clinical rotations in medical school, you’d be light-years ahead!

Alas, the stone wall of government.  If we hire them, we have to cover them under our own malpractice.  Furthermore, because the IRS is opposed to ‘independent contractors,’ these folks would ultimately fall under the description of  ’employees.’  Which means we would have to offer them benefit, pay their social-security, their unemployment, etc.  Basically, we would have to treat them as regular employees of the group.  In the end, it was too much cost and too much risk.  A labor lawyer we consulted opined that, in the very near future, independent contractor status (including the kid across the street who mows your lawn) will be all but illegal.

Why?  Because we have a government in dire need of tax dollars.

Some smart, aggressive pre-med students or nursing students could have made $10/hour to learn.  Every year new ones could have started as old ones left.  The legacy would have been remarkable.

The IRS, for the alleged benefit and protection of those potential workers, leaves them making $0/hour.  But then, at least they aren’t being used and abused by cruel, rich, oppressive, conservative doctors who would merely benefit from their slave-like efforts.

What a great country!

Edwin

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