A few days ago a work at my desk doing my diligent secretary stuff, I had a really cool doctor sit down at the desk station next to me on my right. It is the last station on our big desk. This doctor is one I have the greatest respect for and is a grand person, and I have to admit one of my all time favorite doctors. I love her. I know her habits and will get her the beverage I know she will want depending on day. I am being deliberately vague to protect the Doctors Identity. I will only refer to her from now on as Doctor S.
Doctor S. had a problem. I was working my own stuff, but couldn’t help but hear her conversations, and the growing frustration in her voice. She asked me to get a few doctors numbers for her, I did more, getting the actual doctors or their offices on the phone for her. Doctor S. is different in that she had many other jobs, worked with her hands, and did hard labor in her life. She never puts on airs, never is above anyone. She will help decipher things I can’t read, even if she did not write them. She will go into a PT room and help a nurse change dirty sheets or wipe a bottom. She always checks each of her PT’s, and actually reaches out to them. She is hands on. She is one of the few doctors who gives us her cell number, and one of the few I can call day or night on her cell and she doesn’t mind or get angry. The first time I called the number I had for her I was stunned to get her personally. I stuttered, stammered and was not sure what to say or do. She was grand and with a quick laugh told me she was glad I called and how could she help.
She had a PT that she saw in the hospital. When the PT got out of the Hospital Doctor S. kept seeing this PT. However she needed the team that treated the PT to continue as the PT was very ill and need more specialties than Doctor S. had to her name. But as she made call after call to different doctors to ask them to see this PT, some who had seen the PT previously in the Hospital, every one turned her down. I was stunned, first that anyone could turn down Doctor S, but the reason they were turning her down. The PT was poor, had no money, no insurance, and there was little to no chance of any of the Doctors being paid for their efforts, except maybe a Medicaid payment way down the line. Most like it would be a charity or free care case.
Yes, our health care system is the best in the world they tell me, and today I heard Mitt Romney say that the poor who live in apartments get health care, we even sent an vehicle to pick them up and take them to the hospital for that care. He was clueless, thinking that it was problem solved because if your having a heart attack we send an ambulance to your home and take you to the E.R. and your well taken care of and cured. I could list the many, many problems with this untrue statement, but this post is about Doctor S.
So knowing what she was up against, I helped as best I could. She did get a few doctors to sign on, but only because it was her and how much she is respected.
Then the other shoe dropped. A surgeon who I will call Surgeon K, approached Doctor S to ask her about doing a movie or film to show how bad Doctors where put on, how they were not all rich, how they cared for their PT’s, and do what they do because they love the job and the PT’s. I was stunned. I don’t know Surgeon K’s personal situation, I don’t know her relationship to the PT’s she serves, but I can say several things about this whole thing.
First Doctor S had just spent several hours trying to find doctors to treat a PT with no money or insurance, and I have had a doctor tell me paying taxes ” Was for little people like me, and not important people like himself”! I have had to halt the attempt to find out why I am anemic and not feeling well until next year as I am out of funds to pay for the costs, even with my insurance and working in the health field. I have not given up, but have to wait until I build up a little more funds before going to a cancer doctor for my blood exams. I know there are grand doctors out there and I work with some of them. I also know there are doctors out there I deal with that huge egos, think they are above everyone else, their kids are better and have more opportunities and will be special compared with “average” people. I over hear how they talk about people and how they think they and theirs should be treated better than the rest. I know one doctor who refuses to let people use his name demanding to be called by his title only because we have “not earned the right to use his name”, I heard one doctor throw a complete fit because a nurse called his phone rather than the P.A.’s working for him because he “was the general and they need to go through my lieutenants”. I had that same doctor raise his voice and complain to me and tell me I was wrong because another unit called asking if he was in the unit and I delivered the message to him. He was angry they called for him and were calling around to us rather than go through his service, but his service is so bad even I protest calling them.
So on one hand we have grand doctors, and arrogant irritable doctors who think they are OWED something for being doctors. The whole thing comes back to personalities and and our broken medical system.
I would love to hear your stories about different doctors you have seen, talked to, how it is in your countries, what you think we can do to help ours or change yours. Many Hugs.