Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Paging Doctor House"

I've lost faith in doctors over the years. The more I watch dramatized doctor or hospital TV shows, and the more I experience the doctors in real life, the more I realize how most of them actually couldn't care less about their patients. They make their money the moment we walk in the door, so why try? Move along so I can get to my next number patient who'll fork out the dough.

I'm not discounting anyone who's had great experiences with doctors, or who've been saved by a doctor. My husband was one of them. Nor am I trying to offend anyone who is a doctor or knows one personally. I just hope, for their patients' sake, they're good at it. That they care.

I'm just saying there needs to be more of the caring. A LOT more. The way it works is messed up. But it's always been this way. And it works for them because as mortal human beings, we need doctors. And we will always come back. Even though we are paying them.

I hear amazing stories from people who've had doctors find things wrong with them, or cure them, and it makes me grateful for modern medicine. I really am. And I'm glad for those miracles in people's lives. Like I said, my hubby was one of those people. Thanks to a doctor's "hunch"--a doctor who wasn't just mindlessly going along with the motions and actually cared--my husband's cancer as a teenager was caught early enough to eliminate it. I will forever be grateful for that.

So why does it seems near impossible to find a doctor that still goes by "hunches"? Is it too much to ask that a doctor actually take careful consideration of his patients' problems, instead of viewing them as just another number?

Again, we are paying them. So why does it feel like they are robbing us we are wasting their precious time?

It's absolutely maddening, and quite effed up.

Did they really go through the hell of medical school, just to blow off a patient's issues? Just to forget about them and their problem the moment that patient walks out the door, not even giving them another thought until the next time they walk in that door? And then, when they know the patient is miserable and desperate for an answer, not even call with certain test results?

"Hey, receptionist, let's mail the results instead, make him/her wait a little longer, and then when he/she calls to get more information, tell him/her I won't talk to him/her unless he/she makes an appointment to see me and pays me another $100...just so I can tell him/her I don't have a clue what's wrong!" Evil, evil laugh.

As exaggerated as that seems, I don't think it's too far from the truth.

Are there any doctors out there that still care about the patient, and that when the patient says he/she is going through hell, they actually believe them--even though it's a problem they've never heard of?

After so much evidence to the contrary, I say no. If there are ones who do, we've yet to find them. Just because they've "never seen that issue" in all their thirty years of experience doesn't mean it's not legit. Figure it out. Diagnose. Care, just a little.

Hell, I'd take Dr. House's horrible bedside manner any day if it meant having a doctor who would obsess over the problem until he figured it out actually try to solve the medical problem instead of forgetting about it just because it was something he didn't normally deal with.



Jen said...

Wow, your sister AND husband had cancer as kids?! That's so scary! Way to tell it like it is!!

hilljean said...

I so relate. I have one great doctor. One out of the five that I have to see for RA, and unfortunately he's the podiatrist so I don't need to see him all the time. But he's the one that gave us his cell number, pushed my wheel chair out to my car, and gives me a hug every time he sees us. Quite a difference from the the other four!

Jessica said...

amen sister! me and mom joke about how we wish we could just go get Dr. House because other doctors just don't care. It really is sad to know that there isn't anyone out there (except for the rare few) that want to make a difference in someones life.

Becky said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, holistic/naturopaths/etc. are the way to go. I've never had a problem with them yet. They actually care and they are kind.

I don't think I could ever go back to a regular doctor.

Kristen said...

Hey. I stumbled along here from PYHO. Great post. I am also so frustrated with doctors. My youngest has a rare genetic syndrome and we see every specialist alive. In the NICU, a doctor held my hand and told me to allow my son to die. (I won't cuss in your comments section, but needless to say, we don't see her anymore either.)
I'm fed up with everything you say. I think if you don't have to see the doctor that often, you might not notice it - but when it is a constant theme in you life - you realize how unwilling many are to go an extra MINUTE, much less an extra mile. I'm with ya, girl. Kristen@

Shell said...

I get frustrated, too. I personally blame the messed up system. So many lawsuits and fear of malpractice accusations that it's made doctors so cautious.

It's sort of the same feeling I get about schools now, too.