Monday, June 18, 2012

Confidence in your doctor


As my readers know, I am something of a skeptic about medical care. I hate being condescended to, rushed, told crap, and given any old test just to get me out in the requisite 15 mins.

Here in Arizona, I have received pretty cursory or even bad treatment. Yes, part of it may be my attitude—I decided 20 yrs ago not to get weighed unless a medicine dose was based on my weight. This has led to numerous discussions.

Tomorrow I am going back to my eye doctor. I am blind in my right eye due to complications of four surgeries to correct a detached retina. I am also missing a lens in that eye—not worth it to put one back in, they decided.

Soooo …

I just want this doctor to know who I am in case I have another problem.

Anyhow, I was reading some letters in the NYT June 11, 2012, about whether doctors actually know best. Two were from doctors saying patients demanded weird tests—not their doing. One said “patient knows best” was regrettable.

I am the opposite. I ask about a test—what would it show. If it would show something I won’t correct—such as taking a statin (which I actually do not need)--I won’t do the test—why, if I won’t do the cure?

Another talked about the imbalance—how the physician is put above the patient. That writer said lose the white coat (it’s a germ-catcher anyhow), talk while both are clothed, call each other matching names—no more Dr Jones and Suzy, don’t say “Doctor” without a modifier, and replace patient with “customer.”

I don’t know about that last one—but sure treat the patient as a valued customer—lose the 2-hour waits (we patients know every day does not have a huge emergency in it). Maybe even call later like the vets do to see if the person is feeling better. Talk to the patient—not gaze into a computer screen. Don’t take calls during the visit.

I know, I know—I am a dreamer.

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