Life · Politics

Health care reform and what a doctor is worth, part two

Got this from a reader in e-mail form – I think it highlights the disparity among doctors. Perhaps we should start a list called: Doctors who are worth their price. Maybe? At least we should bring it up with our legislators who are debating reform — they need to look at medical schools, “mentor doctors,” etc.

I think fees are way too high, but only because I couldn’t possibly pay the full freight if I didn’t have insurance. Another problem is that you pay the full fee whether or not the doctor is competent. Five years ago I developed symptoms that I subsequently learned were clear markers for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The primary care doc I was going to admitted he had no idea what was causing the symptoms but suggested it was probably some virus that would go away on its own.

Ten months later the lymphoma was so advanced that tumors had wrapped around the aorta and I was in excruciating pain and close to death. I ended up in the ER. The cancer center doctor who finally made the diagnosis asked me a bunch of questions including whether I’d had any of the symptoms I had described to the primary care quack a year earlier.

I should have asked the incompetent guy for a refund, right? So the first guy wasn’t worth $10 an hour, but what about the lymphoma guy and the incredible nurses who administer the chemo? I could not put a price on their services.

15 thoughts on “Health care reform and what a doctor is worth, part two

  1. Oh yikes.  Here is my incompetent doctor story:
    I have type 2 diabetes and when we decided to get pregnant, I asked my then-doctor what I had to do.  He said nothing.  Slapped me on the back and said good luck.
    I also was in the last year or so of school at the U of A.  I told him we wanted to get pregnant, but hopefully not until after school let out.  I asked when I should stop taking the birth control pill.  He said, now, because it takes about a year for it to “wear off.”
    Well I was pregnant a month later and my blood sugar levels were soaring.  Turned out I should have gotten my diabetes into really tight control and prepared for my blood sugar levels to rise when I got pregnant by taking insulin and going off my oral meds (which weren’t safe for pregnancy by the way).
    Oh yea, and he was listed in the clinic directory as an Internal Medicine doc.  Turned out he was actually an Infectious Diseases doctor.  Wow, had no idea diabetes was infectious lol.

  2. Suggest you silly brainwashed people stop playing doctor and  start all over again by considering the food you eat…
    Too late?

    1. I suggest something a little more colorful for you red star, but…  Maybe people are tired of paying and over-paying for doctors visits and prescriptions and would ENJOY HEALTHCARE REFORM instead of lining the pockets of huge insurance and pharmaceutical companies.  It’s despicable to blame humans for consuming food and not elected officials for not looking out for their constituents.  Go plant your hate seeds somewhere else!

      1. So you are equating eating food, which our government approves for us, to smoking tobacco?  Health is a standard not a luxury.  Corporate greed has taken over our country and no one cares what kinds of “poisons” we are subjected to or take willingly.   What is your point?

      2. I don’t need to say anything.  Your intelligence speaks for itself…  But FYI,  YOU ARE NOT THE MAJORITY!   Thank God

    2. Woohoo, I got Red Star’ed.  I was waiting for it.  Now I’m in the Red Star’ed Club.

      1. For your own safety, I would consider not putting your full name out there just because there’s a lot of creeps & weirdos out there (such as above).  It’s really sad the state of ignorance we live in today. It actually scares me.  
         I was borderline diabetic due to the asthma medication (steroids) i was put on to save my life.  I applaud your ability to not be phased by such idiotic remarks =)

      2. Hi Ana!  I write one of the blogs here.  So I put my name up.
        Ya, that’s what got me…I was put on prednisone for asthma.  Come to find out it can cause diabetes.  😦  I run a website for ladies with diabetes, sad to find out so many of us had been put on a long course of that drug at some time in our lives.
        Just found out I have a genetic lung disease, so might have to take it again in the future.  Gotta decide between having good diabetes control and not being able to breathe or breathing with bad levels.

  3. The AMA was the first medical group to 0rganize in this country. They are very powerful and have retained an accountability system which basically takes care of its own.  I learned watching my sister advocate for an elderly relative, then for a terminal best friend: you must stand up to your doctor and demand his time.  I could tell horror stories from the ICU as we watched our mother, then our father, die. If you stand your ground and demand answers to questions and seek second opinions, you have a better chance of remembering that the doctors are working for you. I don’t mean to blame the victims of medicinal arrogance, and there are many doctors who do act like they care. But your only real  advocate in the doctor’s office is you.  

  4. As long as doctors are human there will be variability among them as to every aspect of practice.  Combine the human factor with a flawed system of delivery, one that does not reward doctors for spending time actually listening to you, and we’ve got big trouble.

  5. The AMA, and doctors, are no longer the problem – although they deserve condemnation for causing it by opposing healthcare reform in the first place and giving us our current mess.
    Most of today s younger physicians favor healthcare reform and hate the system they have inherited.
    It is the multi-billion dollar insurance and pharmacy industries that are the enemy of reform today.
    If you want “doctor stories”, I will share one from a few months back.
    I cut my toe, and the cut became infected. I knew exactly what I needed – generic Keflex, $4 at the Target pharmacy.
    If I lived across the border, I could have gone and gotten my $4 medicine.
    In the US, because of laws that the AMA caused Congress to pass, it is illegal to act as your own physician.
    So I had to go to a clinic, wait 2 hours, beg for Keflex, recieve and unneeded tetanus booster, and finally receive a piece of paper that allowed me to buy the $4 keflex.
    Total cost (not counting time and travel) – $157.

    1. You’re absolutely right, tip! Unfortunately, the insurance companies now control health care in this country. They decide if you’re going to be covered, what treatments you can have and whether or not you’ve had enough treatment for one lifetime.This is why we need health care reform in this country!

  6. The sad truth is money is spent on advertising and not on treating sick folks. Same with all the high priced ads for drugs. If all the waste and excesses in health care were used to TREAT folks the cost could go down and maybe every one could have some kind of insurance coverage. The power companies do not advertise yet I have electricity. Doctors prescribe medications so why is all the ads necessary. Educate the Doctors and put the rest back into new drug development or send dividends to their stock holders.

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