This is the classic line you're supposed to recite when you announce you're going to med school, and I have to admit, it's caused me to squirt coffee through my nose upon hearing it on a number of occasions. Does anybody really become a doctor with the sole or even primary motivation of helping people anymore? Maybe. It's kind of hard to believe, given the starry-eyed reverence and huge paycheck that comes with being a doctor in our culture. On the other hand, I do have a couple of friends who slogged through law school only to take relatively low-paying jobs with non-profits and NGOs, so maybe I should back off the cynicism.
But whatever may be true of the individual people who go into the medical profession, it is certainly not true of the industry as a whole that its sole or even primary goal is to help people. In fact, helping people appears to be very low on its list of priorities. This is evidenced by the fact that the industry is currently spending $1.4 million a day, every day, to lobby congress on health care legislation. And this effort involves paying a lot of money to a lot of insiders who know how to work the system on behalf of the highest bidder. Because heaven forbid they be required to offer real care to real people, in a way that limits their ability to make giant profits while leaving the poor and disenfranchised people of the world to die. No, that would be the course of action taken by a group of people who honestly cared about people and wanted to help them.