Posts Tagged ‘medical treatment’

Be a Skeptic and not a Cynic

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

It is so easy and so logical to be jaded. 57% of the senate are lawyers and all are multimillionaires. Corporate America and possibly foreign interests are investing huge amounts of money in political campaigns designed to represent the citizens of the United States, not the Corporate entities of the world. Marketing campaigns obfuscate and dominate so that companies who sell everything from ice cream to cell phones overstate their efficacy and marketing departments of manufacturing giants have veto power over science and research departments. Religious intolerance is on the rise as is virtually every form of intolerance and political leaders speak at us and refuse to listen.
I feel the same way you do. I feel that way about medical practice where financial profits outweigh quality of care issues. I understand the pressures of overhead, of the constant threat of malpractice lawsuits, of government interference in administering a system they have little knowledge of, and ever escalating health care costs and insurance premiums out of proportion to our European brethren who often provide better care. I understand that patients are ever more hostile and willing to vilify and attack their physicians when they are not satisfied. I understand but I cannot justify the demise of medical care as I understood it because each of us physicians took an oath to serve our patients with honesty to the best of our ability, ideally with compassion. And I understand that many of us still adhere to our oath.
In spite of all of this I have a message; a conclusion for what I think must guide each of our survival and well being. I will speak of medical care, yet the philosophy extends to all decisions of welfare. Be skeptical! It is OK to question a diagnosis. It is OK to question a therapy. Get a second opinion. Obtain a copy of your records. Ask what the prognosis of your condition is and how long your doctor expects before your illness is under control or cured. And when your problem does not resolve in a reasonable amount of time leave for another evaluation and potential treatment. This is not a time to blame your doctor. This is not a time to argue with your doctor. Your doctor gets no pleasure out of you not getting well. Your doctor is human. Your doctor wishes for you to feel well and for the pride of doing a good job. Be skeptical of what you hear and seek further counsel when it is appropriate. Do not play the blame game. Do not become the know-it-all cynic. For then you have become exactly what you criticize.