December 28, 2009 3 Comments
Doc, Doc. Who’s There? Fifteen. Fifteen who? Fifteen minutes is all the time I have for you.
In the past few months I have tried a new primary care doc, a podiatrist, an orthepedic surgeon, two rectal surgeons (don’t ask), a dermatologist, an opthamologist and a dentist. Of that list only the dentist I had seen before. In virtually all the cases these docs came highly recommended. All I can say is that you never know what you will get but it is more likely than not that you will be disappointed.
My primary complaints apply to virtually all on the list. They put you though standard procedures to tell if there is anything extremely obvious. Hell the primary care doc did the same things that docs have done for decades. He listened to my chest, looked in my ears and nose and had me say Ahhhh as he looked down my throat. He then ordered the standard blood panel and that was my annual physical. He listened more to my breathing than to anything I had to say about my health or symptoms.
In these days of diagnostic tests all I got fingers up my butt from the rectal guys (as opposed to a scope which might actually allow the doc to see what the problem was) The first guy wanted to do surgery and did not even tell me of the potential problems that the second guy did. After wrenching my lower back, the orthopod had me bend in each of 4 directions, took x-rays and gave me three sets of pills– steroids, muscle relaxers and a narcotic for the pain. He had no idea what was wrong with me. Of course if I took all the pills I would be a vegetable, albeit a comfortable one.
Of all of the docs only one treated me like a modestly intelligent consumer of medical advice. The podiatrist explained what he was doing and why. He explained what he found and what it meant. And finally what we would try for now and the next course of action if the first one did or did not work. He had no great bedside manner but he did spend more than 15 minutes with me and I came away feeling like he would help.
I assume it is the fee for service approach discussed during the Congressional health care debate that drives the behavior of “let me see if you are within two standard deviations of the mean.” If so I Dr. Doctor do not need to figure out if your problem is caused by something outside the norm. I can just send you on your way telling you that as long as you can cope with the pain not to worry.
How come I did not even get all those cover your ass tests I read about in the health care debate? Where is my share of the excess. At least I would feel as if someone is paying attention.
BTW. If anyone has a good Doc, Doc joke please submit it. I have to admit I could not come up with a good one.