Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday morning

Soon as I finish this coffee, I am headed back to that edifice on Third Street. The large brick and glass campus where physicians practice their tortures.

If the common citizen tried what doctors do for a living, they'd be decried as torturers, sadists, inhuman monsters, drug addicts. Physicians routinely knife people, drug them, withhold food. Introduce noxious elements into the body, drug people into a stupor, stick needles in their arms and run tubes through every orifice. The Marquis de Sade would be proud. He'd also be humble, because the medical profession has taken his stock in trade to a whole new level.

The common person allows it, because the common person has a loved one in treatment and is hoping against all hope for a cure, for healing, for a return of the beloved. If you want to see the medical profession as it really is, without the tinted glasses of need, wander through the hospital when you're healthy.

Common people don't go to hospitals when they're healthy, because the horror is too much to comprehend. Healthy people stay away from hospitals because of the torture that is practiced there. Yet, somehow we let them continue, because the medical profession is compassionate and dedicated to public health. Yeah, right.

When's the last time you had a caring medical professional come to your door, concerned about you? It ain't likely to happen. The vast majority of medical professionals think of patients like a rancher thinks about cattle. Ranchers do whatever is necessary to keep a cow alive and healthy as long as it is productive and worth more than the slaughter house will pay. Once a cow can no longer produce, she is loaded on the next truck to the slaughter house.

My doctor didn't know me from Adam until I walked into his office, seeking consultation. He wasn't concerned about me. He still isn't. I don't get invitations to his house for Sunday dinner, he doesn't want to be my friend. No, I'm just another of his paying patients. Another one of the lowing cattle. Paying his bills. When I get to the point where I can't pay his bills, he'll shuffle me off to hospice without any tears at all.

Good cattlemen know that there are cattle being born every day. Physicians know that there are no shortage of patients. Cattlemen are honest enough to be purely profit-driven. Physicians aren't. They cloak their detestable deeds with noble aspirations of health and wellness.

Bullshit. It takes a sick sonofabitch to become a physician.


Anonymous said...

Beware of an ex-Marine-looking male RN named "Mickey."

Rivrdog said...

Take some advice from one who had the gut-slicer in me twice in one summer: your lady will recover, but it will take a while. Don't let her jump back into her routine too fast.

Ambulance Driver said...

"Physicians routinely knife people, drug them, withhold food. Introduce noxious elements into the body, drug people into a stupor, stick needles in their arms and run tubes through every orifice. The Marquis de Sade would be proud. He'd also be humble, because the medical profession has taken his stock in trade to a whole new level."

I'm just taking a wild-assed guess here, PawPaw...but you don't think much of the medical profession, do you?

I'd have to disagree with your assessment of most medical professionals. What you're seeing is the results of a health care system taxed to its breaking point.

We don't much like treating people like cattle, any more than you like being herded through the chute.

Too many patients, too few practitioners, too little reimbursement and too many frivolous lawsuits...

It's a big mess, no doubt. But the practitioners in it are just as trapped and dissatisfied by the system as you are.

Otherwise, I love your blog. I drop by here often.

Anonymous said...

you don't go to the hospital for what a doctor can do for you.
you go to the hospital for what nurses can do for you. If a the md can do his do and send you home he will do so.
you go to the hospital because you can get care fter the doctor does what he did.
md's won't/can't stay with you when the real nitty gritty time comes. nurses are there

Blue Ridge Medic said...

I agree and disagree with your statements. I think a lot of "white-collar" medical professionals are just about money. My wife is having our fist child together and I was calling around trying to find out a little info on the local ob-gyn facilities. Most of them wouldn't even answer my questions without knowing what kind of insurance we had. But the "ones who show up on your door" as you put it, are different, especially if the person we are there to help has a legit complaint. Most of them actually want to help. I have had many patients ask me about insurance or payment and I always respond that it makes no difference to me about the money end of the deal, I am worried about you, (the patient).


Anonymous said...

There are uncaring people in every profession. There are also caring ones. My wife is an EMT. She has a patient that gets transported twice a week. She has no money or insurance. Her doctor called his friend (also a Dr.) and they are PAYING for her treatment. The EMS company my wife works for, bought her perfume for her B-day, because she has no family. Uncaring? OK. If you say so. I have found that people with bad attitude, usually get the same in return. Judging from YOUR attitude, I'm not surprised.

When was the last time your car mechanic came by your house to make sure your car is still running good? When did he invite you to dinner???

I'm an engineer. Do you fucking think I invite people I deal with PROFESSIONALLY to my house for dinner? Why the fuck would I do that?? They are part of MY WORK! My PRIVATE life is just that, PRIVATE!!!! You're damn right, I don't want anything to do with vendors, plant problems, operators etc, AFTER my work day is over, unless I see those people as my friends.

A lot of people in medical profession have compassion for people who deserve it. Some don't. Get over yourself. Regardless of what your Momma told you, your NOT SPECIAL, especially if you expect to be treated that way.

I don't know what you did for a living, but I seriously doubt it that you invited all kinds of NON-PAYING clients for dinner with your family. And, BTW, an EMT in LA makes about $8-11 per hour, a Paramedic about $14, a lot of times without benefits, no retirement etc.

So why do you think they do it, for the money???

Oh, and BTW, to smear the reputation of ALL the health care workers because of LIMITED experience(s), is not exactly intelligent. Kind of like a racist hates ALL NIGGERS because a black guy stole his car.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Paramedic. I always arrive at my patients door concerned for their health. I'm invited into homes at all times of the day and night, during rain, snow or shine. Most times the only medical treatment needed is compassion, sometimes I'm observant enough to realize that's the one thing needed after all other medical options have failed. I'm routinely spat on, cursed at and pushed aside by a public that normally doesn't care unless I'm needed - but when I'm invited to your door by a frantic 911 call, I will treat you with the utmost care and respect. Yes I have instruments and procedures that would make a Sadist blush, but I will only use them in the time of great need - when maybe your wife, or daughter, or brother or father, critically injured, lays before us on the yellow cot bathed in florescent light and you look into my eyes, your own swelling with tears and ask if there is anything I can do. I've been through many many days of school learning those procedures and techniques. But one thing that can never be taught - and all the best medical professionals have this in common to some degree - is empathy, compassion and caring. Maybe you need to get a new doctor.

MedicMatthew said...

You post some very interesting thoughts and I have to agree and respecfully disagree. Having spent time working in both urban and rural healthcare I can see both sides of the argument.

There is a reason I no longer work in healthcare in a major urban center and it is because of the issues that you've written about here. Where I work now in the sticks of Maine healthcare is an entirely different world. We have physicians who spend thier time off in the hospital checking in on patients. They are understaffed and worked to the bone, but they do care.

I have a friend who recently found a lump on her breast and was referred to a local surgeon for a biopsy which was to take place the following friday at 11am, at 6pm following the biopsy her primary care physician, the one who made the referral to the surgeon, called her at home to see how she was doing because he was genuinely concerned about her.

We have some really great physicians in practice up here but I think that is because we are a small hospital. But despite the fact that our hospital is small it is still an organization that is nationally recognized for its innovation in caring for patients.

I know that perhaps we are the minority, but please remember that there are healthcare professionals out there who really do care about the well being of our patients.

Anonymous said...

Don't get discouraged. The entire medical profession is not like what you describe. It's been 15 years but, I had an experience that restored my faith. I took a fall through a plate glass window and cut my face pretty badly. I was lucky. A friend drove me to the hospital. The ER doc told me he thought he could do it BUT, there was a plastic surgeon on sight who could probably do it better. He called the plastic surgeon. To make a long story short (not too late I hope) my insurance stonewalled me and the doctor because it happened in a public place. They (insurance co.) thought someone else should pay. Took a while for me to drag this info out of the bastards. At any rate, I told my plastic surgeon how sorry I was that he hadn't been paid. His reply restored my faith. He said he had accountants to deal with the financial stuff (the 'small' stuff) his concern was for his patients. There are many like him, who are motivated not by money but helping people. Don't lose your faith in mankind because of a few (or many) who are only motivated by money. Best wishes/good health.