Thursday, April 12, 2007

Like the song goes, "It's actionable for me to say I'm sorry."

Historically, when I see a doctor, it's usually been at the end of an ambulance ride. It was a given that they would do their damndest to reattach anything that had fallen off, and I would do mine to be a good patient and heal. If things didn't work out and the duct tape didn't hold, well, these things happen. That's why they call it "practicing" medicine. I figure if Eleanor of Aquitaine made it into her eighties in an age when doctors, rather than lawyers, were small blood-sucking invertebrates, I should get along just fine with the little contact with the profession I require; they leave me alone, and I leave them alone.

There's another subset of people who seem to enjoy being poked and prodded by physicians, and seek the opportunity out at every turn. I have a feeling that it is this set that generates 90% of the malpractice suits that make everything from ingrown toenail repairs to open heart surgery so expensive for the lot of us. When everything doesn't work out as planned in their encounter with modern medicine, they turn, not to a deep religious faith or a que sera sera outlook on life, but to the "L" section of the Yellow Pages.

It's gotten so bad that states are actually having to pass laws to allow doctors to say "I'm sorry" without it being thrown back at them in court.

Allow me to say it, too: Doc, I'm sorry some folks are such complete tools that you need legal protection in order to offer human sympathy. That's gotta suck.


Anonymous said...

My youngest daughter had a clogged tear duct when she was born. Not uncommon, but something you pay attention to.

At 6 months, nothing had changed. My pediatrician informed me that if it didn't clear by 1 year, then we should see a specialist.

I love my pediatrician. He's taken good care of my daughters. But at 11 months, when nothing was better, we decided to go ahead and take her to a specialist.

The specialist was like "You should have brought her in at 6 months!".

We don't hold that against the ped. His job is overall health. We don't expect him to be an ENT specialist. We don't think of him as a dermatologist. We want him to look for abnormal growth development and broken bones (knock on wood. None so far).

Same with my doctor. I get his opinion, then surf the web for as much info as I can then come up with my own view on what's wrong. Generally, he's spot on. Occasionally, he's off. Big deal. I'm not planning on suing him for not seeing that a sprain really was a slight fracture.

I think a lot of this comes from our society's inane ability to allow our own wellbeing to be put into the hands of others rather than looking our for ourselves.

But then again, I'm a prick to most people for suggesting that.

Anonymous said...

Back in the middle 1980s, my mother found a quite-reasonably priced MD in Panama City, Florida.

The reason for his relatively modest prices for an office visit?

Simple. In his waiting room was a sign: "I carry NO malpractice insurance."

Why? Well, back then the annual premium for an ob/gyn was some $250K per year.

So, he rented the office and leased his equipment. His house and car were solely in his wife's name.

Hey, the guy was just as smart as any Texas highway contractor!


Anonymous said...

Having worked in a hospital for several years before being laid off :^(, I have come to a few conclusions:

1. Physicians are NOT God.

2. Flee those who think that they are God immediately.

3. Spend a good while selecting your doctor & telling him/her just how any treatment of you will occur. For example: no pennicillin but chocolate is OK.

4. Prevention will save you from loads of hassles later.

On another note:
How's your cracked rib doing?

Rorschach said...

Side topic but you used a turn of phrase that is a hot button issue with me.

Tools are GOOD things. Guns for instance are tools, and very useful ones. Idiots are NOT tools. Calling an idiot a tool is insulting to tools everywhere...

We now return you to your regularly scheduled rant.....=D