Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Healthcare Crisis?

I was reading one of the blogs I frequent written by an ER doctor. Check it out here. He had included a link to an article on CNN about getting in to see your doctor in a timely manner. The article was awful! Among their suggestions was calling a local news station to complain that you couldn't get in to see your doctor. By the way, if I was a doctor, I would fire you from being my patient if you did that to me! It also said that instead of saying you have a sore throat, tell the receptionist that your throat is closing. Again, YOU'RE FIRED!

This got me thinking that it really is no wonder that there is a shortage of primary care doctors right now. If patients treat their doctors like this and primary care doctors are one of the lowest paid positions in the physician realm then why are we surprised that they are all going into different fields?

That thought made me stop and think about all the hypochondriacs that I know. I'm not a person that runs to the doctor every time I get the sniffles and I think people who do that are, not only ridiculous, but also a waste of time. We live in a society that wants instant gratification. This is where medicines and antibiotics come in. We get the sniffles. We go to the doctor straight away (if you can get in on a short notice). They give you antibiotics. We completely ruin our immune systems after the 5th round of antibiotics in a month and then we wonder why we are always sick. Well, gee, that's a tough one.

Some people today would classify my parents as child abusers because I don't ever remember going to the doctor when I was younger. If I had the chicken pox (summer before 1st grade), I didn't go to the doctor. I sat on the couch with my sickling siblings and rubbed calamine lotion all over my body until I got well. If I had a cold (every single winter until recently), I took cough meds, but never remember going to the doctor. My parents were able to nurse me back to health, many times being sick themselves. I am thankful that they were the type that were patient with ailments because my immune system rocks! I haven't been truly sick in years.

Now, as an adult, I try to keep that perspective in mind. If I get the sniffles, I certainly don't rush off to my PCP and act like it's an emergency that I see him. It's a wonder how people will work with you if you are just nice and courteous to them. Tell them what is really going on, don't exaggerate the truth. They are trained to weed out the emergencies from the "sniffles". And for goodness sake, America, stop being hypochondriacs!

1 comment:

ssbean said...

I very much agree with you. Goodness, I can't even tell you the last time I went to my PCP. It's not only a waste of time, for the patient, the doctor, and other patients who really need the care, but it's also a waste of money. And it's a reason why health care cost are on the rise, too many claims for stupid things. There are plenty of OTC medications that are actually better for colds and other simple illnesses. Besides going to the doctor for chronic ear infections my first 6yrs of life, I didn't go to the doctor. (Turned out I needed tubes and the only pediatrician in the county couldn't tell). But yeah, I completely agree with you. Heck I hate going when it's something serious, because I'm scared to death it'll be nothing and I will have wasted time and money.