I have never understood medicine in this country. We put our faith in the hands of a doctor…a trusted, learned friend who is there to share with us advice and knowledge gained from $200,000 in medical school expenses and vast experience. Instead, we arrive at an office, get poked and prodded by a nurse that understands only half of what you’re saying, and a drug pusher who has no shame in marketing the latest and greatest pill to “cure what ails ya.”
I went to a new doctor yesterday, recommended by my previous Doctor in Miami. My last doctor had a low, monotone, uncaring voice that I found strangely comforting (psychological issues anyone?) I should have suspected something was wrong when my bubbly, happy doctor walked in. Or maybe it was the fact that she was less than 10 years my senior. Or maybe it was the fact that the first thing she did after looking at my chart was to start spewing off a list of other nonsensical sounding drugs that she thought I could take instead of what I was already taking. I don’t even remember the names of these wonder drugs she was pushing, although they all seemed to coincide with the brochures in her office. COINCIDENCE?! From the juxtapositron, flatulencia, or monoglutabenzymush, she was convinced they would all be better for me than what I have been taking for the last few years. This was of course based on her extensive review of the 3 minutes that we knew each other. She was spouting off these drug names before she even looked at my medical history! But, what was most disturbing, was the fact that after telling me about all these drugs, she asked me which one I would like to take.
In a few short minutes, she went from learned doctor…to auto mechanic, asking me which oil I wanted to use in my car. Actually, considering that there was no consideration of how these drugs would react to each other, it was more like the auto mechanic asking me if I wanted to change my own transmission, and then pay them for it. In either situation, I would probably end up dead in some sort of fiery explosion.
The other thing that really annoyed me was her decision to give me a diet plan. That in and of itself is fine, but as with most doctors in the US, any kind of healthy plans means counting carbs. Eat less rice they say. The entire continent of Asia eats rice as their staple food, yet only in America do we say, eat more steak, and less carbs. Thanks, it’s worked out so well for Dr. Atkins. Didn’t he die of a heart attack crossing the street? And another thing, if you want me to count carbs, how about you spend some of that great research money on coming up with some sort of carb-thermometer, that I can just stick into my plate of spaghetti arabiatta and tell me how many carbs I’m consuming. Or is the alternative that spend the first hour of my meal punching in 12542351 ingredients into a calorie counter app just to find out I’m eating 6 more grams of carbs than is recommended.
How about instead you change the message? Think outside the box, and look at alternative solutions? And no I don’t mean lighting incense and acting like sticking needles in my face will help me. It would be nice if doctors could understand that they are trying to improve the quality of life of their patients, and not just trying to get co-published along with their prescription pill pusher in the latest medical journal. I think the title of that article would be, “How I Tricked My Patient Into Being His Own Doctor But Paying Me Money: The Rise of the Medical Mafia”.