Thursday, December 30, 2010
Lessons Learned As 'Doctors Behaving Badly' Tour Ends
"Medical boards are slow to act" -- when I complained about my doctors, I was told the medical board doesn't have enough money to investigate every complaint, so they only investigate if you've lost life or limb. The fact that my lifestyle was radically changed by medical incompetence was not enough; I had to either die or have the wrong leg amputated.
Remember, this doctor was handed a correct diagnosis on a silver platter -- diagnosed by a virologist in 1988, and re-diagnosed by a rheumatologist a few months before I saw this medical moron. It was not an innocent "misdiagnosis", it was intentionally changing the right diagnosis to a wrong one, and then playing Blame The Patient when "nothing you said made sense" (because I know to feed a doctor all the symptoms that prove it's not depression) and when the wrong pills for the wrong condition simply made me sicker.
Read "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman, MD, for proof that this attitude is endemic in the medical field.
The goal is not, to use Dr. Bell's word, Game Show Medicine, where the first person to ring in with an answer wins -- it's to get the RIGHT diagnosis. Groopman's book says that doctors often reach a diagnosis in 18 seconds and then stop listening. So if the first word out of your mouth is "fatigue", they're going to leap straight to depression and ignore anything you say after that that contradicts that diagnosis -- he stopped listening long before you got to things like fever and swollen glands and rashes that prove it's something else.
In my case, the magic word was "divorced" -- I was a four-eyed middle-aged divorcee who was obviously depressed because my husband ran off with a 20-something hardbody and just needed to adjust to the idea that no man wants a woman my age. He never bothered to ask questions, just assumed, or he would've found out that my ex was with a woman the same age as me, who outweighed me by a good 50 pounds, and he didn't leave me, I kicked him out. I was very happy being rid of that expensive albatross.