If we would respect our profession
Author: rotorflex Date: 11/11/2009 1:32:06 PM Show Orig. Msg (this window) Or In New Window
It would respect us back.
In OAH's post, he correlates medicine to aviation. It wasn't so long ago that medicine was held in pretty low esteem by the average person. The medical profession pulled itself up by it's bootstraps; and while they seem to be self-destructing now, physicians have had a great run.
Does it not strike anyone as ironic that the supposed experts on air medical transport are physicians? Their purview should cover patient care -period. Somehow they now weigh in on all aspects of a profession they know little about.
Airline pilots enjoyed a similar prestige for a few decades, but they were not able to enjoy the benefits of a "legitmate complexity" (Paul Starr's words), and could not create barriers to entry for their profession the way that physicians could. So now you can be an airline pilot with 200 hours and make $16,0000 a year. And for that you pay and strive for a long time. The conditions that lead to poor morale and poor performance within the ranks of airline pilots aren't created by them, but they take the blame for every misstep.
The physician"s "time in the sun" is coming to an end. Have you noticed the direct-to-consumer drug ads (which were not allowed by medical groups for many years) now advise you to consult "your prescriber" about said drugs; no longer do they say "your physician". Inroads are being made into the medical profession, and someday you may see a health care "professional" at your local Wal-Mart who makes $16,000 a year and gives you prescriptions for what ails you.
Flying a helicopter is a complex activity, requiring significant preparation, education, and practice. We have only ourselves to blame for the fact that we enjoy so little wealth and prestige for what we do.
It has been said that the first steps toward nationhood are a common language followed by a common currency. I submit that the first steps toward a respected profession as helicopter pilots will be organization followed by legitimate barriers to entry into the profession; such as higher educational and experience levels.
To borrow a phrase from the medical profession; "no one should come between a helicopter pilot and his passengers"