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Annals of Medicine: the problem is not just ObamaCare

September 9th, 2013 - 6:11 am

My friend’s son is an Emergency Room doctor and an accomplished athlete (he participates in Iron Man Triathalons and the like). He recommended a family doctor he knew who had some sports medicine experience. He is, my friend reported,

one of the rare doctors who still works by himself, takes his own phone calls and admits his own patients to hospital. . . .  He does not have any electronic medical records. . . .  He was the first doctor who sat there and listened to my WHOLE STORY before he said anything.  Before he examined me he said “I am pretty sure I know what is going on.”  When he got down to my groin he put me finger in the spot that hurts and I went through the roof.  He said. “I am 99.9% sure I know what is going on.”  It was 3 pm on a Friday and he picked up the phone and asked to speak to a radiologist.  Seemed like most of them were gone so he had to wait awhile.  I then heard him tell radiologist that I was a doctor and father of a doctor and he would like an MRI DONE NOW.   The radiologist said to come right over and he would try to get it done.  Went to hospital, signed in, took my sedative and then was told to come back tomorrow for the procedure. . . . My whole point in this long diatribe is that the only doctor who acted like a doctor was the one has refused to part of the new healthcare, acts like your personal doctor, listens to your story, and then made a  forceful phone call to get something done.

Turns out the family doctor was right. The problem was a tear in the labrum, the lining of the hip joint.  No one else suspected it. No other scan picked it up because no scan of that area was ordered. Moral: “The lowly family doctor who bothered to take a history and do a physical made the diagnosis.” Keep it in mind the next time you visit your doctor, behold the battalions of administrative worker bees populating his office, and wonder why you are treated like widget number 726 in the long production line of his customers.

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"Alas, it was possible to shove ObamaCare down the throats of the American people only because the delivery of medical care in this country had already been so heavily bureaucratized."

That's the inescapable consequence of any government intervention into a customer-vendor relationship. It started with the Flexner Report and the licensing of physicians. It got a blast of fuel from the IRS's ruling that employer-paid medical insurance was tax-exempt. It got far worse with Medicare and Medicaid. Sensible persons would have realized long ago that we were heading in the wrong direction...but in the halls of power, sensible persons have been outnumbered by the greedy and vicious for quite a long time now.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hippopotamus gets in the bathtub
Water everywhere
Hippo declares emergency and nationalizes all the towels...

(like the Hydra, every fix creates two new problems)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good for your friend, but you know, 30-40 million people in the US don't have the option of visiting a family doctor.

Instapundit linked a story today about how Obamacare affecting free clinics. Where people have to win a lottery to get health care (since there is more demand than supply), if they lose, they have to go home and just cope with their physical injuries/problems.

Obamacare isn't the solution, but neither is the status quo. We pay twice as much for health care than any other country in the world, yet we have worse results and millions of people suffering.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
So I guess all those thousands people I did emergency surgery on for 40 years were imaginary ? I was never paid so I guess they were. You simply don't know what you are talking about.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Both of your premises are simply wrong and the result of MSM lies.
Walk into any community hospital ER and you will be treated. If you just have a cold, you may have to wait awhile.
ANY clinic will first and foremost perform triage.
Comparative cost data has been so misreported as to be believable by the incredibly naive only. Here in DC even the most ardent supporters (and bureaucratic winners) of O'care don't buy those numbers. Hell , the invented them.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand why neither the patient/doctor nor his doctor/son suspected, either. Surely that's a not very rare symptom in the not terribly young, especially who have been through other procedures that stress the body. So yes, your story certainly illustrates something about the current state of medicine, but I shudder to think just what.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
My mother died of messinteric ischemia (sp.) 6 weeks after the emergency room PA diagnosed it after talking to her, but the MRI ruled it out so she was sent home.
She had emergency surgery 4 weeks later in another hospital. Long story short, the PA diagnosed it correctly by just observation. This is similar to the dr.'s story.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am an emergency physician and I speak from experience when I say that I don't know any physician, in the actual practice of treating human beings and making a living, who thinks this will work. But no one wanted to listen to practicing physicians; they preferred leftist medical pundits and select academics who would praise the legislation. Here is a link to a column I wrote on some of the problems: http://girlsjustwannahaveguns.com/2013/09/obamacare-is-law-how-we-are-expected-to-deal-with-it/

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me first stipulate that no matter how bad you think Obamacare is, and will be FAR worse.
Putting that to one side, if you don't like your doctor, even just because he makes you wait to long in his office, CHANGE HIM!
It took me many years to get my little cadre of physicians together, but they are ALL fantastic. First I had to acknowledge a truth: most doctors, like auto mechanics, suck. When that doctor sucks at anything regarding his practice, flee as if Visigoths were chasing you!
Under our current medical system, I am often seen by world experts in their fields. What strings did I have to pull to get an appointment? Simple. I had to call their office and make one. I paid them the usual copay I'd pay even a crappy doctor. All these men listen and spend time diagnosing carefully. I've been to many hacks in my day. I just never go back.
So that you will better appreciate that I might know a thing or two about this, my first wife had breast cancer when she was 25. It recurred when she was 40, she died two years later.
I have suffered from gout since I was 23. I have had a hip replaced. I have had a kidney transplant. When they dig me up a thousand years hence, most of me will still be there, as it is made from titanium and plastic.
Don't ever believe that a crowded doctor's office is a good sign. If he respects you so little that he makes you wait too long, drop him.
Obamacare is not about medicine. It is about getting more money into the system, which the government will then waste on stupid bureaucrats.
Just like everything else.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have no idea. It was worse than your story indicates, and is going to go down hill from there.
Ya' know, medicine, ain't all that old. The late 20th century was when health care blossomed. But mostly they were selling pain relief while the body did the work.
ta
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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