Thursday, September 23, 2010

calling dr. welby

Oh, for the good old days, when you could trust your doctor and feel some assurance that you were in the best possible hands for medical care. These days? Not so much! At least that is the case as I watch people around me receive questionable care.

Who am I to judge? I don't have a medical degree of any kind, but I do pay attention to the world around me. I try to be informed. I listen to the stories of the people in my life and in my care. I consult my father (a retired physician) when I need to, and my son-in-law, fairly fresh out of med school, too. I think I have some common sense, and I wasn't born yesterday.

Last week a parishioner was admitted to the hospital with a fever and a diagnosis of diverticulitis with a tiny perforation in her colon. Mega doses of antibiotics were given to her while the doctor "considered the options." "I don't practice aggressive medicine," he told her. "Let's wait and see what happens." Alarm bells are going off in my head. For one thing, my favorite aunt died from just such a situation, but I have done my best to keep that in perspective. Sunday, day six of "Jane's" hospital stay, I asked her if she was okay with the passive course of treatment. She said yes, she trusted her doctor. But dang it all, her temperature was back and she was still in pain. HELLO!! Anyone paying attention? We learned late yesterday that Tuesday she had surgery. A massive infection had set in in her colon and now in place of a colon she has a colostomy bag. I am beyond upset about this.

A week ago, following a diagnosis of cancer in the left kidney and bladder, "Ron" had a procedure that we understood was going to be to go after the cancer in the bladder. Turns out it was just a biopsy to see how far the cancer had spread in the bladder. Performed by his doctor. There has been no referral to an oncologist. The doctor doesn't think a pet-scan (feel free to correct the spelling, I've only heard the word, never seen it in print) is necessary. Hmm. Ron is 82 years old, and the course of treatment just might be impacted by knowing if there are cancer cells rummaging around elsewhere in his body.  Ken and I are ready to pull our hair out!

I have been very fortunate in my life to have been exposed to high standards of care when it comes to people and animals, so my own expectations for care are likewise high. What I am seeing lately does not come close to quality, and it certainly doesn't look anything like care. Sign me up to join more fervently in the health care debate.


Mompriest said...

Sometmes I'm comfortable with a wait and see process, but I was seriously injured by that approach from a passive dentist. Cost me a lot. So, a balance of wait and see if the antibiotics are working, but not for a week. Not if the pain and fever persist. Really. Is it over-worked doctors? is it malpractice? is it just poor care? is it financially induced - spend less, do less? I don't know. But poor medical care has tragic consequences.

The Bug said...

I think my mother is dead today because of a misdiagnosis by her doctor. She had been in quite a bit of pain for a while & he diagnosed diverticulitus (sp?). Daddy finally convinced her to go to another doctor who could literally feel the tumor in her kidney just by doing a physical exam. It had already attached itself to her back muscles by then. Caught sooner? She might still be here.

Medicine is only as good as the people who practice it - & the aggressive self-advocacy of patients.

Jayne said...

As a medical professional, I will say that I think shrinking reimbursement and profit margins have fully affected the way physicians "practice" medicine. In order to have a fully paid, trained staff, they have an office manager telling them they have to see 50+ patients a day, and truly so much tends to fall through the cracks when you are going so fast and trying to keep all the plates spinning. And too, so many people go to so many different "specialists" that with so many cooks in the kitchen, someone forgets to stir the pot. Everyone thinks someone else is "handling that." Not to make excuses, but the system truly has caused medicine to start to implode upon itself. I dare say you would find a newly practicing MD who would not tell you that it certainly is not the way they envisioned practicing medicine.

Fat Bastard said...

Many people today are injured by greedy doctors. Dr Welby retired and Dr Greed tool over.

Fat Bastard said...

Jayne, American MDs are the highest paid in the world by far. The are also the deadliest.

Google it!

The medical profession is a corporate industry. Doctors today have LLC after their name.

Factor in the kickbacks and doctors make way too much money.


Related Posts with Thumbnails