In 2004, I completed a series of 4 paintings regarding my view on the medical profession… my profession. I portrayed the businessman doc, the one who accepts gifts from the drug companies and still believes he is not influenced. I portrayed the patriarchal doc who tells his patients how to live, as if he knew the right way, and finally the western scientific doc for whom there is always a cause (usually biological) to explain our woes. The 4th painting is more self-referential. In my silhouette is the following text:
“I am bought. Slowly over the years I have sold out: First to the Patriarchs, then to the Scientists, to the Professions and now to the Corporations “the New Imperial Powers of Heath Care”. The sick have changed from serf like patient hood, to objects for experiments, to reasons for work,, to now, finally commodities. Over the years, I have repeatedly made the decision to work from within to make changes. It has rarely worked. Most often the implicit power structures have had their way. I need to step out of the health care system but have so far lacked the courage and the means. But I have hope that Art may allow me to find the key to escape soon. But I will have to be careful not to fall into the same trap as the implicit powers also govern the art world and the intellectuals. Are we all slaves?”
Two years have past. I now work half time, still within the teaching public system but again this week I was made aware of the degree to which we had become employees of organizations who did not share my values.
This week the Canadian Medical Association voted a new President, a doctor who owns a private clinic. I have always opposed the idea of a private health care system but maybe within this lay the opportunity to regain some of our values and self respect.
You can view the paintings by linking to the paintings “On Doctors” on my website.