Have we come any closer to patient-centered care since the early ’90s, you know the kind of care with compassion and the desire to heal, rather than the impulse to pick up the prescription pad or use a scalpel as a first-line treatment?
Obviously, every doctor in every corner of the world is not the kind we see in the below video. It is my opinion that what is important and most damaging about our current medical establishment/SICKcare system is that it seems designed to incentivize medical personnel at every level to start with a treatment, prescription, surgery, or device in mind, and then back the patient into a diagnosis that supports that pre-formed treatment (usually drugs, devices or surgeries).
Why would medical personnel behave in this manner?
My answer: because it’s the most profitable way to provide “healthcare.” If a patient presents with an enigmatic ailment, they are often marginalized or dismissed like we see in this video, courtesy of YouTube:
Polypropylene mesh is certainly enigmatic and devilishly ill-behaved inside the human body to say the least. Much more conservative options are available especially for Stage I SUI or POP. It seems our healthcare system is not designed to start with the person inside the patient, and to offer medical aid by first SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND (listening with compassion), then using REASON plus EDUCATION, unclouded by the whisper of profitable prescription-writing and surgical treatments. Prescriptions and surgeries require more frequent patient visits, check-ups, pre- and post-operative appointments or follow up care, and thus more co-pays and more profit. The healthcare system, in all its forms, is a business that must be profitable to stay solvent, but NEVER at the expense of patient outcomes, best treatment plans or prognoses for continued health, not continued illness.
My opinion is that a profit motive is necessary to keep the best doctors incentivized to make the necessary sacrifices to acquire the expensive and years-long process of learning that their craft requires, many necessary sacrifices exist along the path to becoming a physician. But, these requirements must always accompany a very high standard of morals and ethics. Ethics are what turn unenlightened medical personnel into compassionate healers with gifted minds, gifted hands, and gifted hearts.
The HIPPOCRATIC OATH, even with all its controversy, remains one of the oldest binding documents. No one forces any doctor to agree to it. Each one has his/her own choice. But, any currently practicing physician did agree; so each must, by moral imperative, uphold it.
AGAIN, HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR: I DO NOT HATE DOCTORS, NOR DO I THINK THE ABOVE CLIP IS REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL DOCTORS, but is representative of too many, and ONE is too many.
What I can share with you is my own experience, artistically and masterfully elucidated by the decorated Golden Girls star, Bea Arthur (1922-2009). This Golden Girls clip is quite representative of many experiences I’ve had along Recovery Road with my mother, including a similar interaction with one doctor in particular, inside a Walgreen’s.
You are a human being FIRST;
A sick patient SECOND;
A revenue-producing agent. . . . A VERY distant third, if it even belongs in the top three.
Thank you to Mesh Angel, Dany, for finding and sharing this clip with me, so I can share it with you all.
The Golden Girls sitcom ended in 1992. Are our doctor-patient relationships any better 23 years later, or are we in the golden years of an antiquated healthcare system on the verge of its last season?