I’ve ranted a few times about things i hate about the way we “do medicine”. (Doctors are not alone here.. i cant believe that in the age where we operate on the eye with lasers and see production ready nano-tech. we consider yanking teeth with a pair of pliers a reasonable option)
Recently i heard an interview with the head of MS Research where he spoke about some of the same things.. i.e. that 9/10 people are visiting the doctor for the same thing (that new strain of flu going around) and that we could help alot of things with a simple “if you have a fever, and a runny nose and red spots today, u have the latest X going around.. take 2 of X and get some rest”. This would handle the majority of the ppl walking in..
(actually, as yet another diversion to a fairly arb. post – i get bothered whenever i see gross inefficiencies like this.. arriving at new york airport for example u get to the end of this passage, and theres a lady standing there screaming.. everyone left please.. everyone left.. the fact that this lady is doing this at all is silly.. if she ever did it more than once in her life without realising she could replace herself with a sign and an arrow is ludicrous.)
Other things about the way we doctor bother me.. like that lack of liability.. about 5 years ago my dad walked into a doctors rooms with the flu.. they discovered that his blood pressure was insanely high and immediately medicated it down.. of course, they never checked his medical history so they had no idea if he was running with insanely high blood pressure his whole life.. dropping the pressure was a shock to the system which caused him to have a stroke.. it bothers me first that this happened.. it bothers me even more that in subsequent discussionsÂ no one ever said “oops.. we blew that one”
I have heard horror stories of mis-diagnosis and perfectly incorrect treatments being doled out.. but its wrapped in a culture of almost non performance.. i.e. if i take mar car in to a mechanic because it doesnt run, and they cant make it run, then i dont pay them.. u can go to a doctor for X, comeback with Y and Z and the thought never comes up that i never got what i paid for..
Ill end this pointless rant with a scary ponderation i had a little while back.. If you take a medical student who scored 50% on every test he ever took all through his medical education, he eventually graduates and starts practicing.. so.. when your kid has this whooping cough, and u go to the doctor, you are actually going to a guy who has historically shown that he will misdiagnose 1 of every 2 cases that walk through his door..
this is scary.. and so just in case ill make sure im only ever the 2nd guy to walk in to a doctors rooms.. keeping on even numbers should help..