Marion Mass, M.D.

Dina Magnes: [00:00:00] Good morning, Marion.

[00:00:03] Marion Mass: [00:00:03] Good morning, Dina to be here.

[00:00:06] Dina Magnes: [00:00:06] I'm so excited to have you I've read a little bit about you and I know that you're one of the people who are rethinking things. So welcome to let's rethink this. I'm gonna let you introduce yourself in just a few sentences because I know your resume is yay long.

[00:00:28] Marion Mass: [00:00:28] Okay. So my name is Marion mass. I'm an MD. I studied at Duke university and trained at Northwestern after going to Penn state undergrad. I am a practicing pediatrician in the Philadelphia area I've been practicing for over 20 years. And I took a time out to raise three children. Two of them are out of teenage years now, so go us and then we'd have a 17 year old left.

[00:00:58] I I'm a recovering soccer mom. I did a lot of work in my community doing volunteer work as I was raising my children. And, and then I woke up and discovered that healthcare's broken in America and it just made no sense as to what was happening and it didn't make any sense to me because I sort of feel as though healthcare is one of those essential needs in our, in our country and really in the world.

[00:01:26] And I couldn't figure out why it was becoming more expensive and less accessible until I figured that the people running it, it's working just fine the way they want it to, because they're the ones that are sucking all the money off. So anyway, I woke up and then I became a reformer and I I run a grassroots physician advocacy group.

[00:01:46] That's non-partisan I participate as part of a larger coalition. I write a lot. I'm on an editorial board of my newspaper for. Volunteer job. And I advocate frequently. Is that too long? Sorry.

[00:02:01] Dina Magnes: [00:02:01] I mean, how do you fit it all into your schedule?

[00:02:06] Marion Mass: [00:02:06] Okay. Don't tell anyone, but I lowered my standards, you know, if there's cobwebs in the ceiling, if like, you know, okay, the crumbs are swept up, but they're in a pile and I didn't brush them into the dust pan.

[00:02:19] You know, if, if you know, I have to do the takeout because I just didn't get to things well, That's how it happens or if I don't get dressed and have to go pump gas in my bathrobe and

[00:02:32] Dina Magnes: [00:02:32] this one, which I'm going to ask you about in a second, and I'm just going to introduce shortly and say that I arrived at LRT or let's rethink this.

[00:02:44] Due to Jerry Ashton, who was my employer at rip medical debt, or I still work as a consultant. And I actually met Jerry when I started my new career. I changed career from fashion. So this is very funny from fashion into coaching. And how does hearing all that you're saying? So right now, what I do for a living is I coach impact.

[00:03:10] Manures and people in nonprofit and I'm doing, I'm helping Jerry spotlight, people who are like you rethinking how to rethinking systems, right? Because you're talking about a broken system. And what I heard you say was that you're juggling a whole bunch of things. You're an MD, you're a mom, you're a recovering soccer mom.

[00:03:37] You're an ass of a kid. So, and, and, and how do you fit it all into your, your schedule? You were saying I lower my standards and I would ask you, like, in terms of priorities, where, where do these things stand? Because it sounds to me like the mom and the advocate are two really.

[00:03:59] Marion Mass: [00:03:59] Yeah, it's all different on different days to tell you the truth.

[00:04:03] And I, I guess I think like each thing fits into its box and the lowering of the standards might look you know, different on a different day. I mean, I. I really try very hard, never to lower my standards as a mom, a wife, a physician and an advocate, but you know, how does that look? Well, I mean, child one may want me to speak, but I'm, I'm busy and I'm with my patients and I'm like, you know, I can't answer the phone and.

[00:04:32] It just has to wait for a chunk of time. Of course, if child one were like texting me that his friends were bleeding to death, I might say to the patient, excuse me, you know, so it's sort of like the standard there's basic standards, right? I mean, as right as an advocate, someone important might want to get in touch and they might want to meet with you tomorrow, but you're sort of like, no can do.

[00:04:54] Sorry. The husband has said. Time out. I need some time and you know, then you have to like, you know, put your, you know, realize like what's really important, right?

[00:05:06] Dina Magnes: [00:05:06] Yeah. Yeah. So that, why don't you tell me a little bit about Jerry would put it as, why are you bothering me today?

[00:05:19] Asked you, what is it that you've read, thought that you want to share?

[00:05:27] Marion Mass: [00:05:27] Well, I guess I would say once upon a time, and I felt like maybe I saw one of the last bastions of this, but I feel like once upon a time medicine was a, a humble, accountable, trustworthy house, you know? I mean, My husband and I went to Duke university medical school, and I feel like that there were so many people there that practiced medicine in the very best of ways where the patient came first, where really the most important thing was see that's the oath of Hippocrates back there.

[00:06:03] Yeah. Right. Right. Was, was that oath back there where, you know, as physicians, you know, we were called to, you know, do good for our patients and we were called to teach our craft. You know, free of charge to the people that were upcoming, you know, it's, it's a Guild really more. And I mean, like the oath of the biographies, you know, it goes all the way back to the times of ancient Greece.

[00:06:28] And it, it was really meaningful. I studied in Greece in college and, you know, so I was in the area of the shrine of a sleepiest in, in Greece. And it was just like amazing to me that there were buildings built. You know, millennia ago for where things like that mattered and then an idea carried forward.

[00:06:51] So in medical school, like when you know, when you go in, you put on your white coat and you talk about the oath and you see these giants. I mean, there were really amazing people that trained me. I I'll name a name because I love naming great names. So Rebecca Buckley is a professor of immunology.

[00:07:12] At Duke. And she, when I did my sub internship in my fourth year, she was my mentor and she's like, amazingly well-published and she's she actually, at the time she looked a lot like Margaret Thatcher and she just, she carried herself with his grace and his dignity. And then it was also sort of like realizing, and I wish I would have even asked her back then, but I didn't, it was more just like I absorbed it when she was in medical school.

[00:07:38] There were like only a couple of women in the class. And, you know, she became this giant and she was just brilliant. And, you know, so like I was taught by people that I feel like were very they had a true North compass, really moral, and there's something about healthcare. You know, people talk about American medicine.

[00:08:00] There's nothing wrong with, I think any of us working and making an honest living, but that's not what's going on anymore. What's happening in medicine is everyone is paying more and getting less because the people that are in charge, the system is working for them exactly as they designed it because they designed it so that they would be the ones making more and everyone else will be getting less and they don't care.

[00:08:28] So where are the Rebecca butlers of the world? Where are the attendings at these, in these ivory tower institutions? Why are they not. Uncovering where the money is going and trying to either surgically remove or, you know, medically treat these cancers that have grown into our healthcare landscape. And I say landscape because like a lot of people come along and they say, we need a system.

[00:08:58] We need just one system. If we can have one system. Well, what we have right now is. Systemic cancerous growth. It's like little tentacles are growing everywhere and they're growing out into these sources of power that are then just sucking money off of the system. And, and people are hurting because they're paying more, they get less access.

[00:09:20] Physicians are frustrated. I mean, I don't know if you paid attention, but in America it's really hard to get in, to see a physician. I mean, the, the standard of care of medicine goes all the way back to the time when people took those oath, you know, and then in the United States, you know, the, the Fleshner report where the Flexner report where, you know, we defined what training and medicine was and, you know, and then we, we relied on that oath to do no harm, to carry it forward, to teach and, you know, to, to teach for the sake of, of.

[00:09:59] Fostering and sustaining a really noble profession. Well, instead of a humble house, you know, unfortunately we've got an ivory tower full of profiteers, parasitic, profiteers. It's it's disgusting. I'm not saying all of them in the ivory tower are, but there's some in there and we need to like sweep out the house and turn it back to a humble house of.

[00:10:23] Public servants, but I think we have to all acquiesced to the fact that you're not going to get people go into medicine who are going to work for free. It sounds awful, but I mean, we need a reasonable wage. If you're going to do all the training, et cetera. Yeah.

[00:10:44] Dina Magnes: [00:10:44] And you said that at the beginning of, of of your explanation right now was that there's nothing wrong with making a wage.

[00:10:51] There's nothing wrong with having a dignified salary. The question is who and who is getting and who's losing or who is winning and who's losing. And how do we. How do you reimagine actually the system, because I know that you're very active and that you're lobbying and that you're putting together, you're either writing about it.

[00:11:18] You're sharing these ideas with many physicians. What is your vision of not, I mean, you probably have a big vision of what the system can be. And then what is your vision of the next few steps that they absolutely need to happen to start the change?

[00:11:41] Marion Mass: [00:11:41] Yeah. So first of all, I mean, I think we have to take a peek behind the curtain.

[00:11:47] So you know, you're not going to have good medical care between a patient and a physician, which is the that's really the ultimate bond there. That's the ultimate payer that defines. The medical relationship. Right. And, and really the health relationship. You're not going to have that bond be a good bond unless there's trust.

[00:12:09] I mean like, look, look now at our current situation, we have a lot of Americans that are kind of questioning whether or not they should get vaccinated. Right. Well, first of all, the vaccines. For the most part are not in the hands of the practicing physicians of America. They're in the hands of either the government or the corporate or whatever it is that are giving out the vaccine.

[00:12:30] And so therefore, like when people go to get vaccinated or if they're signing up to get vaccinated in many cases, there's not someone that they can ask questions to someone that they trust. Right. And then you look at the, you know, the vaccine issue itself. Look, I'm not here to bash the pharma industry, because if we all think about it, we all want a way out of this pandemic.

[00:12:52] And the pharma industry created a vaccine, which is one of the potential ways out. Right. But it's no secret that the pharmaceutical industry makes a boatload of money. And so then people are questioning. Should I trust this vaccine or is this vaccine they're all for money and, and Y you know, I'm vaccinated actually with both shots.

[00:13:14] So is my husband. Our children are not, but they're not a high risk group. My children are vaccinated against the standard vaccinations, but why would people not have some questions about the trust and the validity of this vaccine when they know that there are. Profit tiers. I think there's a difference between profits and profiteering.

[00:13:39] I do think honestly, there's a lot that you put on the line to create a medication, a vaccine, you know, there's a lot that you put on the line to take care of a patient in the hospital. There's a lot that you put on the line to treat a patient in your office. You have to have trust. You have to have trust in all of those settings in order that we have good medical care and, you know, there has to be some accountability.

[00:14:04] So the first thing I think is to pull back the curtain, ask the simple question, who's making money and how much and how are they making money. And are there, are there rent seekers in there? You know, like the worst are people that are just like injected. Yeah. You know, and injected into the system and are serving as like a middleman or a paper pusher and profiting off of something that's really needed because, you know, healthcare, I always define healthcare is a need.

[00:14:37] People want to get into this big fight. You know, it's a right. It's a privilege, you know, and then they scream at each other and nothing ever gets done because they're too busy screaming at each other and dividing. Instead, I like to come forward and say, you know, healthcare is a need and you know, not.

[00:14:51] Just as we defined at the beginning of this the part about the standards, you know, like everyone's need is going to be a little bit different. I mean, you find a lump in your breast and you have an immediate need. You need to get in there and, you know, have your ultrasound, have your biopsy and get moving and get into the oncologist and you better be able to do it pretty quick.

[00:15:12] Or you might be in bigger trouble, but you know, if you, if you have a fever and you have a little bit of nausea, but you're able to drink and you're still peeing, well, that's not an immediate need for healthcare, like the breast cancer patient, but, you know, so I think there's also some accountabilities for Americans themselves to make sure that they, they recognize that we're part of a greater whole, so an accountability to try to.

[00:15:41] Assess your need, honestly. And there's also accountability for your own health. There's a difference between health and medicine, right? I mean, if I had spent my life eating cocoa, frosted sugar bombs and donuts, and then at the age of 40 discovered I was diabetic and I hadn't been exercising and then I needed my insulin or, you know, my Metformin or whatever my meds were.

[00:16:10] Well, then I would have to start to take some accountability for my own health, you know? And I'm not, it's not a blame. Exactly. I

[00:16:17] Dina Magnes: [00:16:17] think you're talking to a systemic to systemic problems, right? If, if there was great access or easy access to quality, health care, someone who had accountability to your health would have said, you know what your diet.

[00:16:33] How has to be modified, right? Someone, someone who you would have trusted to tell you these

[00:16:40] Marion Mass: [00:16:40] things. And it's, it's a hard thing to point this out to people, you know, I mean, and you can look across the gamut. It's not, it's not just behavior like that. Like, you know, a trusted friend might say to you, Hey, you know, like, I noticed every time we go out, you've had too many drinks.

[00:16:58] Yeah. Yeah. What's going on. Is there something underneath that's bothering you or for someone that either puts on or loses a great amount of weight? Hey, is there something behind you that stressing you? Is there a weight on your shoulders? You know, like you do. Cause

[00:17:14] Dina Magnes: [00:17:14] a couple of things that really resonated with me one or just resonated one is.

[00:17:22] When I asked you, what do you think has to change right now? And you're saying the level of trust and the level of accountability. And are you talking about pharma physicians at you? Def definitely talks about our responsibility as people, right towards one another and as taking responsibility or accountability to our own health.

[00:17:44] Who, who are the, how do you create that trust and accountability or what are you doing? Because I know you're actually active.

[00:17:53] Marion Mass: [00:17:53] Yeah. So I write, I write about it. So for instance, like I'm on an editorial board of my County newspaper, but my County newspapers connected to other newspapers. And then there's you know, there's a physician's magazine that is reprinting some of the pieces that I did last year.

[00:18:12] So last year I started a cost series on healthcare and essentially, like I opened it up with you know, there's a problem in our system and we need to heal it. And then I went in and I talked about how. You know, where is the money going in the big picture? So like newsflash to Americans, approximately 25 cents of every healthcare dollar is going to the people that actually lay their hands on you and touch you to heal.

[00:18:38] And that would be like physical therapists and bedside nurses and physicians and respiratory therapists, 25 cents on the healthcare dollar. Everything else is going. In another pot, we'll call that the other and that other pot, you can't even see specifically where most of the money's going, it's hidden.

[00:18:57] But when you get back to the 25%, you know, people, blame physicians, and there are profiteering physicians. We'll get to those people in a moment, but physicians make, I think less than 8 cents on the healthcare dollar. So there was an article in the New York times, about three weeks back. And the article was like, how do you make money in America?

[00:19:18] And like the first people he came at was the physicians. And he talked about like, you know, medicine, they're just, this is the reason why healthcare is so expense, blah, blah, blah, as it turns out, he's getting paid by some other entity and tied into, I don't know, Facebook or whatever. And you kind of wonder is someone getting him to write that, but it's another story.

[00:19:37] So when I wrote the cost article, I was sort of pointing out that there was a lot of the hidden, other. And then the next piece is start drilling down into the other, like who are the other? And who's who's profiteering, you know, profiting fine, honest profit, no problem. But profiteering. So the first people that I lit into was my own, I lit into physicians.

[00:19:59] So I think the, it was called scrubs gone, scrubs, gone bad. The medicine sellouts. So there's, there's a lot of physicians that don't practice anymore. They've either gone into administration or they work for big industry. And in some cases they've probably done those things because they're tired.

[00:20:17] You know, it's medicine was never an easy job and it's become harder for many reasons. I'm still not giving those people the free pass. You know, there's people that work. For our board system, for instance, or there's people that work in big academic centers that, you know, they, they command multi-million dollar salaries or their physicians that are tied to big pharma or the device industry.

[00:20:40] You know, you, you can go look me up right now because there is a sunshine database for us physicians. Every penny that we take from pharma or devices it's accounted for. I think I'm somewhere like under $40. Cause I went to lunch to learn about something and you have to sign off and all that other stuff, but there's physicians that take $5 million in the United States.

[00:21:00] You can go.

[00:21:02] Dina Magnes: [00:21:02] So if, I mean, it sounds to me like you're really interested in following the money is one thing. Yes. And then once you fall, you found the money. Some of it, you know, some of the routes, right.

[00:21:18] Marion Mass: [00:21:18] I need to find out where the bodies are buried. Yes. But I have found some of the money. And so

[00:21:24] Dina Magnes: [00:21:24] you still need to get to a point where you can really move the needle.

[00:21:31] Marion Mass: [00:21:31] Well so first of all, I would say like, and I'm going to speak now to The everyday working American because I get it. And I say this to patients all the time, like, you know, during the pandemic, thank you for working. And I always say to them, it's harder to be the patient I'm speaking to you who are feeling like the healthcare system is hard to access.

[00:21:54] It's hard to navigate. It's too expensive and you're getting less bang for your buck. And I guess what I would say is I think that you've been misled. I think that you, you know, you open up the newspaper and you're reading these stories that come from think tanks and their think tanks on the left and think tanks on the right.

[00:22:11] Well, these think tanks get their funding from somewhere. And I suspect a lot of it could come from some of these big industrial giants that we've been discussing, you know, but there's no accountability for them. No one makes the think tanks put like a sunshine database out and they should, right. We should know who's, who's paying their salary because when you open up the paper and you read about like, Physicians are awful people and they're profiting the most off of healthcare.

[00:22:36] You're sort of like gross, first of all, untrue. But secondly, who are you working for and who paid you to say that is really kind of what I think to myself, not, you know, proof. So Americans are misinformed, I think. And they're misinformed because. People are writing things about the medical system that I find untrue and they're misinformed because there are not enough people that are squawking about it.

[00:23:05] I mean, I squawk a lot, you know? Well, I'm squawking now. Right?

[00:23:12] Dina Magnes: [00:23:12] Know you're saying squawk and I'm going back to your awesome, awesome robe.

[00:23:19] Marion Mass: [00:23:19] We'll talk about the robe. That's that'll be fine. That could be the

[00:23:23] Dina Magnes: [00:23:23] cherry on top of the whipped cream.

[00:23:28] Marion Mass: [00:23:28] Perfect. Yeah, because

[00:23:30] Dina Magnes: [00:23:30] yeah, you know, you're talking about some things you're talking about where the big money is, whose whose profiteering are you, and that it's not that hard to find this information, is that correct?

[00:23:41] Like, are you encouraging people to look for that information and what can people really do to start both noticing and, or. Even have a stance or, or take an action. What can people

[00:23:58] Marion Mass: [00:23:58] do? It's just, I would say find people that are squawking. And I mean, I'm not going to tell you follow me because it's not just me.

[00:24:06] There's other people that get this just like me. And you know, like I, I find them on social media all day long. I mean, LinkedIn is how Jerry Ashton and I found each other, he read something about me talking about the excess profits in the hospital and the pharmacy benefit manager sector. And he like.

[00:24:25] You know, pursued. And then we had a conversation and we like talked about the things that we shared and that we agreed upon. So there's a lot of people that are part of the network free to care that I mentioned. W we are a coalition of groups. It's not, I'm not in charge of free to care. My group, practicing physicians of in case you want to find that is part of the free to care network.

[00:24:49] That is free. The number two and then care. We put together a position paper and I engineered most of the paper and we have contributing authors. I'm in the process of. Doing the update to the paper now with even more people this time, which I'm excited about, I'd rather have more people writing because then that means I'm in less trouble.

[00:25:08] I'm always in trouble. We'll talk about that too. But you know, I'm getting threatened and bribed and hacked and physically intimidated and fun stuff like that. But the, the people that are the ideas that we put forward in that paper, you know, we, the standard is just in healthcare. Reformers. Some of them are standing up and screaming, repeal the ACA and some are standing up and screaming, Medicare for all.

[00:25:34] And those things are just switching back and forth. So if the D's are in charge, then people are going to be screaming, Medicare for all. And if the RS are in charge, repeal Obamacare, and then neither of those things works, right. Because nothing happened, you know,

[00:25:51] Dina Magnes: [00:25:51] Systemic problem that you've

[00:25:53] Marion Mass: [00:25:53] identified. I know there's a lot of people that don't want to hear this, but I mean, if we have all of these broken components to the system and I will tell you, all of the profit tiers are tied to the government, you know, everyone complains about the insurance companies and they say, get rid of them because they're causing the problem.

[00:26:11] And then if we have the government run everything, it will be utopia, peace, love, and understanding. But you know, who do you think runs Medicaid? Who do you think runs Medicare for advantage? It's the Buka has blue cross United Cigna Aetna and Humana. I mean, those companies are running the pharmacy benefits for Medicaid.

[00:26:31] They're running the pharmacy benefits for Medicare. They're running Medicare advantage. They're like, I mean, they're behind the scenes and it's like really hard to tease out how they're, well, it's not hard to tease out how they're tied to the government. They just. Pay them, but yeah, right. It has certain look.

[00:26:47] Dina Magnes: [00:26:47] So it's like I think we're, we're touching a lot. Like someone has to run the system, right? The question is, how does this, how is the system designed you're talking about because you know, it's not like you don't want people to run the system. You just don't want the profiteering. And I would say even at the other end, which is the, there's a big loser in this game, right?

[00:27:11] And the patients and the American people. Right,

[00:27:15] Marion Mass: [00:27:15] exactly. But, so what has happened is, is the industry, all these profiteering parasites have just piled up, piled up, piled up decade after decade. And then there's this big mountain that they're like on top of, and it's a mountain of cash. And there it's a mountain that they're using that cash to control the continuation.

[00:27:34] Of corporate care, which is what we've built up because it's corporations that are controlling it and they are going to do anything. They can to keep it rolling their way because it's working for them. So it's a small segment of the population running. It. It's the government that they, and I don't believe they, they roll in with wheelbarrows money and say, aha, do the wrong thing.

[00:27:56] I think that they like. Right. A very big check that like has wheelbarrows behind it and then just says, Oh, by the way, this is how I think you should do things. And it just sounds so great when you're running for Senator house or whatever it is. And, and, you know, make no mistake. This is both sides of the aisle.

[00:28:14] Let's just call it what it is and stop fighting. I mean, because it's look at what we spent in the last round of Senate elections, it was disgusting. Revolting, but, you know, we digress, you know, you said, what can people do? So start paying attention. Who's in charge. Who's making the money and, you know, pay attention to the words that you use because those lawmakers down there in DC are standing up and screening, repeal Medicare for all, and then nothing happens.

[00:28:42] We should be like coming up with new words, rethinking this. That's what that paper was about. The free to care paper in 2019, it was about, you know, let's rethink this. What could we do with a mind to unwinding the mountain? You know, chop it down, chop it down. It's hard to move a mountain, but we're, we're trying.

[00:29:01] Right. You know, so knock down the mountain and, you know, pay attention to who's profiting. And then once you start. Figuring this out and then start sharing this information. Everyone has a network. I mean, you know, there's, you can have a network of your friends in your neighborhood, you know, your, your community.

[00:29:19] You could have a network in your your, among your girlfriends that go out for dinner or that you have your coffee with. Right. You could have this network, you could have a social media network. You know, I share things frequently on LinkedIn or on Twitter. You know, and it's become wonderful things about social media.

[00:29:39] Like you can. You can start like getting ideas out there. I think it's really helpful. I mean, if you feel comfortable, you could certainly try to speak or write. I mean, a lot of people are a little bit more anxious or nervous to do that because when you, when you finally, the first time I ever like had something that was coming out in the newspaper, like that was a big piece.

[00:29:59] Right. I was like, I sort of felt like, okay, here goes, it's like, I took a big deep breath and I'm going under water. And I don't know what I'm going to find when I get down there. It's a little more nerve wracking to, right. Absolutely. You have to be more careful with your words. I believe. I mean, I think most people could learn to do it if they tried some people like it better than others, but if I could do it, I mean, look for God's sakes.

[00:30:23] I'm wandering around in a bathrobe. I mean, I'm a recovering soccer mom. I I've like been through all of the. The perils of, of raising teenagers. You know, I, I have to figure out how to get dinner on the table and make sure that the, the kitchen is stocked and, you know, run off and do a shift and lower my standards to make my life work.

[00:30:43] But if I could figure out how to do it, anyone can, it's not like I'm, so

[00:30:48] Dina Magnes: [00:30:48] you're an MD. I mean, you, you have some ins and outs and I that's exactly. My question is one is, you said you were. You are bribed. You were no, I can't remember the word in English, of course, but threatened, intimidated, like on the one hand what's driving you in on the other hand, it's like, where do you have the courage to stand up to that?

[00:31:18] Because we're okay. We're telling people right now, what you said is like Just be aware, be aware this is going on and start sharing the, the news that someone's profiting or profiteering off of this and do some research. And if you want to, right. But what, what, you know, what are simple moves that people can do?

[00:31:42] Are there people that you think that you can recommend people follow or people support because not everyone has the. And the know-how, but B you know, it's the courage to stand up to some pretty

[00:31:59] Marion Mass: [00:31:59] big. Yeah. I'll, I'll give you a couple of things that can be done. So if you are a working American and you have a chronic disease follow Oh gosh.

[00:32:14] If the patient's rising now, There are wonderful networks. There are about 200,000 Americans that have chronic diseases that are tired of the high cost of healthcare and the high cost of medicines in particular. So even if you're the friend or the family member of a patient, such as that you could follow along you could follow free to care on, on Twitter.

[00:32:37] You could find me and follow on LinkedIn, I suppose. If you wanted to, if that's your venue that you're at. You can find others that are part of free to care. You could physician outlook is a magazine that a friend of mine, Dr. Marlene boosts Smith and other pediatrician from Pennsylvania. So she launched her magazine.

[00:32:56] It's, it's all, it's a little past a year now, so happy anniversary, but physician outlook is written by physicians and physician advocates and physician, family members. It's written for physicians and patients, and like it's actually a little bit of everything. No, I've written articles in there on how to get like dinner on the table with your kids, you know, kind of stuff.

[00:33:15] Well,

[00:33:16] Dina Magnes: [00:33:16] but that's, you know, that's, it, it talks to, and thank you for sharing this and I'll make sure that we get all these links, because I think we are talking about recreating that trust, right?

[00:33:28] Marion Mass: [00:33:28] Right. No, absolutely. You know, physicians, they could join practicing physicians of America were free. They could join association of independent doctors if they felt like they wanted to like break free from the system.

[00:33:40] You know, there's other they could follow physicians for the number for patients who are. You know, trying to sustain the physician model and in the healthcare system. So, you know, you can, you can follow all of these people and, and learn more at all of these places. I mean, I, I don't take a penny for writing.

[00:33:58] I don't really care to, I just sort of feel like for me, it's like the oath again, seek the oath. Yeah.

[00:34:03] Dina Magnes: [00:34:03] That would be the driver. Is when did you wake up and say, you know, I can't, I can't go by without doing something about this.

[00:34:13] Marion Mass: [00:34:13] So the original woke moment was house staff meetings. When my youngest was getting into kindergarten, I could actually attend meetings more regularly.

[00:34:23] And I'm like watching these meetings and people are like launching this, you know, terrible electronic health records ordering system on us. And I'm like, what's wrong with all you people? Why are you letting this happen? And then, you know, most other physicians were like, Oh, this is just the wave of the future.

[00:34:37] You know, just let it go. Let it go. But I mean, I. I just can't let things go. I mean, it's like, I I'm, I'm just not built that way. I'm like built for justice and this didn't seem just cause it wasn't gonna help the patients. It wasn't gonna help the physicians. And it was going to cost us all a lot of money, which is right.

[00:34:56] So I started paying attention and then I didn't really understand very well at that point. And then I kept on like looking to the people that were. Supposedly in charge, but then the people who were in charge, they didn't say things that made sense. It was like Charlie Brown's teacher, wah, wah know, like it doesn't make sense.

[00:35:14] You know? So then I figured, well, maybe I have to make sense of it myself. And then along the pathway I'm the only daughter in a family of five children. My mom. My mom and dad didn't go to college. There's two of us that are physicians. My brother's an MD PhD. He's a cardiologist. He's brilliant. He's much smarter than me.

[00:35:33] And and that's okay. I don't mind at all. But there's two of us that, you know, we're in medicine and you know, when you're the only daughter, my mom was a lot like me and that she was sort of like a community organizer or community volunteer. And she helped with my children. And then when they were.

[00:35:52] Four six and eight. She got Alzheimer's. And then we went through that. You can read on Kevin MD, the story of why I got really fired up because, you know, basically my mother was humiliated by an accoladed hospital system and I tried to fix it going through government channels. And I tried to fix it for other people for the future instead of like, Oh, let's just Sue the hospital.

[00:36:15] And what I found was that other people had the same problem less than a year later at the same hospital system. So even though I, I took the right road and the right pathway supposedly, and did all that I could do. And then I realized that the roots of the, the, the brokenness of the system were deeper than that.

[00:36:32] And then I just sort of felt like, all right, look, I have a good education in the field that I'm trying to advocate for. And my mother had good Medicare advantage. Healthcare in a very good accoladed hospital and was still humiliated. And I mean, the story is like a Bismal shift after shift of like pretty much neglect.

[00:36:56] And then, and then the government, even when they're told about it, and even when I am doing it in a responsible way and the report and so on and so forth, nothing happens. And, and then I thought like, well, if that is me and my mother, what happens in downtown Detroit? What indeed to a family member that has no, that does not have the background that I have that doesn't know the right words to say to someone who doesn't have good insurance or good a good healthcare plan who isn't going to be able to pay it all in a, in a setting of a hospital that's like barely able to make it.

[00:37:33] What is happening by the way, this was what was it? Seven years ago. It's worse since. I mean, I it's worse. So that was the Sentinel moment for me. No, not my mother. Not anyone. Else's mother, not my daughter, not my children, not my grandchildren, not my husband, no one's husband, daughter, grandchild, you know, lover, whoever it is like, I mean, really healthcare.

[00:38:01] You should be able to trust that it's going to be quality and you should be able to trust the person that's giving it to you. And. They should be taking care of the people that you love. And it should be based on that, you know, patient and physician bond to begin with. We're broken. We're so broken. I'm not afraid to say it.

[00:38:19] I'm not afraid to say that physicians are at fault too. I'm not afraid to point to the people who are making money. And they're clearly not afraid to come along and offer me power positions and send me emails that sound like they're threatening my job, or like, they're going to publish something about me that might sound bad.

[00:38:36] Who are, they're not afraid to find me when I'm giving a, a symposium and get in my face and try to intimidate me like three minutes before the symposium is scheduled to start. I saw

[00:38:49] Dina Magnes: [00:38:49] the huge man standing just like above you. And then I heard this, the audio. Thanks for sending that to me. I, you know, it's like, it's, it's,

[00:39:00] Marion Mass: [00:39:00] it's so personal.

[00:39:02] Dina Magnes: [00:39:02] Like you're saying I experienced something with my mom and I'm a doctor. We had EV like everything was in place and we had a horrible experience. And it woke you up to not on my watch. No one else should experience anything other than that, both right. Quality care, access to quality care. What do you want to leave our listeners or viewers with?

[00:39:36] Marion Mass: [00:39:36] Well, you know, there are people in America that have the power to change this. It's not just Washington DC. I mean like Washington DC, they actually, they could do it too. It's just that they're going to have to be dragged by the power of the people because Washington DC they're really just us. You know? I mean, like in a way people take a look at the, the senators and the Congressman and the president up there on their pedestals, but they're just people.

[00:40:05] Too. I mean, we shouldn't turn them into these celebrities. And these, the, I remember the first time I went to Washington DC and met with a couple of lawmakers and I I've met with them across the aisle, you know, straight through. And then I remember thinking to myself, I expected that we're going to know so much about healthcare.

[00:40:22] Well, not so much. And they don't know so much about healthcare because Americans generally don't know so much about healthcare. If we find out and then we start to educate them and then we tell them the right things to do, following the money, uncovering it, Americans telling them, stop, stop, letting these industries bully us, stop letting these industries, bully doctors, because that's what they're doing, where we sort of like, you know, take it back.

[00:40:48] And then, you know, us, you know, eventually I think building something that's better rethinking it and building something better. But it it's got to start at grassroots. We can't let it start with big corporations. We can't let it start with the people who are in charge right now because they'll lead us right back to that big mountain of healthcare money.

[00:41:10] That's controlled by, you know, the profiteering parasites that are on top of that mountain. It's gotta be us grassroots, grassroots, baby. Let's do it. Okay. So before

[00:41:23] Dina Magnes: [00:41:23] we go first of all, where can people find you if

[00:41:27] Marion Mass: [00:41:27] they want to get in touch with you? LinkedIn is probably the best bet and I'm Marion mass and they R I O N and M a double S just like Catholic church.

[00:41:37] I'm Maryann mass on LinkedIn. So thanks and

[00:41:41] Dina Magnes: [00:41:41] mess

[00:41:41] Marion Mass: [00:41:41] with us later, Twitter. I think it's I think it's Marion, underline mass or mass underlying Marion. You can leave the link in your thing. I will, I

[00:41:52] Dina Magnes: [00:41:52] will, I'll make sure all the links are attached. And then you have to tell me about the road.

[00:41:59] Marion Mass: [00:41:59] Okay. So this is a great story.

[00:42:02] So the road was a complete accident. Really? You know, what I am is I'm a kind of a combination of Forrest Gump being in the right place at the right time and clue. So I just Bumble into something and then it all works out. That's that's who I am. So it was January morning. And my kids were in seventh and ninth grade and it was nine degrees outside here in Pennsylvania.

[00:42:23] And they came running in from the bus stop and they're like, we've been out there for 15 minutes and it's cold and you've got to drive us to school right now and I'm wearing the robe. Right. So I'm like there with my. Coffee and the robe trying to read the paper and I'm like, all right, fine. So I I'm like, they're like, no, no, no.

[00:42:40] Now we're late. You know? So Islander the car. And as I'm pulling into the school, I'm like, Oh, the car is almost out of gas. And I'm like, Oh, so I drive to the gas station. I'm like praying that I make it. And I get to the gas station and I discover that my husband has taken my purse, which contained all of my payment methods and my phone out of the car the night before.

[00:43:00] And didn't put it back. I'm in my room, it's nine degrees, right. So I have to go into Wawa, but like, that's what we have around here. It's like the convenience store, like my legs are frozen. I at least had slippers on thank God. And like the woman in Wawa didn't even bat an eye. It was like people electronics around the rooms all day long, you know?

[00:43:20] And she's like, Oh, sure. Hear a call. So I call my husband and I'm like, I'm at Wawa. I need gas. My purse is at home. He's like, Oh my God. He's like hangs up the phone. And I'm like waiting in Wawa in my car. And my husband pulls up and I waited him and he waves at me and I'm like, why is he waving? You know, he should be coming and pumping the gas because isn't that right?

[00:43:39] And so I waited him and he waves at me. And then finally I kind of motioned at him and then like he gets out of the car in his robe. And so me being me, I just take the whole story and I put it up on, he didn't come pump the gas by the way. So I put the whole story up on Facebook and like, you know, people are just like laughing at me because they're like, you know, variant the fact that this happens to you, it's just like, you've made my whole day because things like this happened to me, but I'm too afraid to tell people.

[00:44:04] And I just kind of feel like. This is what I mean by like lowering your standards. Like someone have really high standards would be like, no, I am not driving you to school. I'm going to get dressed first. I will not go out in my duck bathroom, you know, so, but you know, w where my standards, my standards were like, okay, kids gotta go to school that trumps the bathroom.

[00:44:24] So off I go. But yeah, so, I mean, I think it was like, Yeah, that's how the bathroom came to be. And then I just decided at one point, like stuff would happen to me like that all the time I'd be too busy, like typing, writing, and then like, my husband would be like, we're out of milk. And then I have to like run to the grocery store and get them.

[00:44:43] And finally I just gave up and then I just started like taking pictures of myself and my bathroom. And then there were others that were doing it. It would be so funny. They would be like, you know, Marin, I was late this morning. I drove my kids to school in my pajamas. Here's my pick. And they boom, put it up on Facebook and then it sort of became this like real thing.

[00:44:59] This is way before the pandemic, mind you. So now everyone makes a joke about it, but you know, well,

[00:45:06] Dina Magnes: [00:45:06] what I'm taking from this awesome story is you can change

[00:45:10] Marion Mass: [00:45:10] the world in a bathrobe. That's right. That's right. And you know what, you know, just, you be you and you always do you. And like it'll all you'll Bumble into it, like Crusoe, but you'll come out of it.

[00:45:22] Just fine. Let's rethink this impact engine. Let's rethink

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