Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Not really recommending this book
Since I have atrial fib, a rhythm disorder, the "approaches" to which (1) almost killed me, and (2) may have been responsible for a clotting disorder that destroyed by right retina despite four operations, I was tugged into this story and probably just want to transfer it to you.
This book is a hot mess. The author does not really seem to want to be a cardiologist--his brother, the favorite son he tells us, became one, so he did. He says he became a salaried doctor at a hospital so he could run a "congestive heart failure" program and not give patients unnecessary procedures like cardiologists in private practice do (his contention, he deems them crooks). His brother works at the same hospital but makes twice as much, because he installs stents.
Despite trying to sound compassionate about the "very sick" people he "cares" for, he gives unnecessary procedures or else rather curtly suggests to people that they sign a Do Not Resuscitate on themselves then and there.
He writes in excruciating detail about organ systems failing, people drowning in their own fluids, etc---and this is the part hat got me... Ugh. If I did end up in a cardiac critical care unit, would I want this dude taking care of me?
He describes patients with contempt--"Her remaining tooth looked like a fang..."
He bleats constantly about private practice cardios piling on the tests, for which they make a ton more money than he does. Don't we understand, he needs more money--for an expensive preschool, for all the IVF that went before, a bigger NY apt, etc?
I have had eight cardiologists in my life--all kept recommending the tests. I even had one that was installing pacemakers he bought on eBay--a huge scandal at the time.
I also, on my eighth, refused a chemical stress test. I already know my heart beats wonkily--I don't need a simulated heart attack followed by an "antidote."
Is this guy a whistleblower--or a rich crybaby in the wrong business?
You can decide if this interests you. But I will tell you one thing--the next doctor I go to, I will be wondering if he or she is listening or just had a big fight with the spouse and is drifting. Does he think I am just a big, fat, noncompliant pig with heart trouble? Is he or she under pressure to order expensive tests to make money for the hosp or practice? Do I need another Holter? Why?
And most importantly--if I end up with congestive heart failure, will the doctor give a flip?