The Problem With Doctors
Posted 01 July 2004 - 09:06 AM
Actually in my history with physicians I've found that they sometimes like to do too many unnecessary tests, and I used to always go along with them but now realize that they are often expensive, risky, and sometimes not even warranted. So now I do my own research and decide for myself whether or not I will have the test done rather than allowing them to simply prescribe it for me and blindly follow their counsel. The last straw for me was when my eye doctor had me do a battery of tests because I had "high eye pressure" which could be an indicator of impending problems, even though I didn't show any other signs of having those problems. It turns out I simply have naturally thick corneas, and the resulting tests cost us over $500 in bills not covered by our insurance! Somehow they forgot to mention that those tests were considered "medical" tests and thus they were not authorized by our insurance to perform them. After that my next bad experience was with a dentist who despite my 15 minute speech on how jittery I am about dental work and how I don't want any unnecessary procedures done, despite the fact that my front tooth is broken in half and I have an enormous and painful cavity in my molar which I requested be worked on, ended up telling me that the first thing he wanted to do was an expensive and extremely painful "root planing" procedure where they would literally scrape the roots of all my teeth, not because (according to them) I really needed it, but because it would prevent me from developing the need to have it done later. I walked out and never went back! Why don't these people listen to us? They are our bodies after all! Now I look at doctors like I look at any other person selling their wares. If they aren't selling what I need, I find someone else who is or I find a way to get it myself! And even though my current GI doctor is a really great guy, very intelligent and caring and even a family friend I still feel that I need to be the one in the driver's seat because I am only one of many patients he sees, whereas I need to live with my condition every single day of my life.
Posted 01 July 2004 - 09:29 AM
I look to doctors as guides - tour guides who can point out various bits, but if we want to know the full story, we have to go find it for ourselves. In their position, they have a unique opportunity to know more facts than we do (if they choose to, of course ;-) ), but we have the unique opportunity to best apply those facts to our own bodies. And I think there are doctors who recognize this, and work with this, though from the stories I hear, I may be relatively lucky on that front.
We always have the power to tell our doctors NO. Quite frankly, I take the belief that they must convince me that a particular course of action is the correct one. Usually, for me, the case is simple enough, I know the likely course of action going in to the office (sick for five days so I have a lung infection and need antibiotics ;-) ), but if it's not, it's up to them to explain to me why they feel that's the best course of action.
By being on boards like this, and learning the stuff we've been learning, we put ourselves in a place to do that effectively, and maybe, the more we do it, the more doctors will learn that they are not the end-all-be-all of medicine, but the patient who puts the appropriate advice into practice is.
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Posted 01 July 2004 - 07:15 PM
Posted 02 July 2004 - 07:59 PM
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