An Interview with a Doctor Essay

1089 Words 5 Pages
Medicine, medical supplies, and medical treatment are multi-billion dollar industries crucial to the wellbeing of the public. Doctors and other members of the health-care industry do their best to provide excellent care for the nation’s sick and injured, while scientists and researchers work to develop new drugs and technologies to fight disease. We often view medical care as a basic human right; something that all persons, rich or poor, should have access to in times of need. But despite our notions of what healthcare should be, those who make a living in this industry, specifically owners of firms, must contend with the same economic questions facing businesses in any industry. To learn more about this vast service industry, I …show more content…
But what strategies maximize profit? As Dr. Slez stated, pricing is determined from the cost of providing the services as well as historical market information. As a provider of medical services, the firm cannot simply raise and lower its prices as it pleases due to certain market constraints. With increased specialization among doctors, the number of individuals with the education needed to perform many of the more difficult procedures has remained small, leaving cities like Greensboro with too few specialists for practices to engage in competitive pricing. Instead of setting prices based solely on what customers will pay, Dr. Slez and others look at their operating costs (which can be quite high, as we will see), as well as national data on what other professionals in their field charge, to determine prices. Many specialists, Dr. Slez included, also operate on referrals. When a general practitioner encounters a patient needing some sort of specialized care or surgery, he or she will often refer that patient to the appropriate specialist (typically an Orthodontist, Periodontist, or Oral surgeon) to ensure excellent care. Over time, as a dentist refers more and more patients to a certain specialist, a practice may retain patients, allowing the firm to stay busy and earn a profit regardless of price. While such a pricing strategy may seem dangerous, as a firm cannot respond to

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