Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Medicine is on the Decline

I hear how medicine has gotten so good over the years and this is the reason to explain why life expectancies are on the rise. This may be true, but it is no thanks to doctors. I have completely lost respect for the medical profession, especially doctors. I find them useless egomaniacs that are grossly overpaid. The reason medicine has improved is because technology has improved, not because doctors have improved. Advancements in drugs, imaging, and medical equipment come from scientists and engineers, not doctors. These advancements, such as in laser technology, have made certain types of surgery easier and less evasive. Yes, it takes skill to be a surgeon, but that does not mean the surgeon is making the medical profession better. Most doctors are mathematically illiterate, and therefore do not have the intellect to make technological advancements in medicine.

As a young child I got infectious boils. Our family doctor made routine house calls to check in on me. Since we did not have much money, the doctor arranged for me to be hospitalized so I could be studied easier. I was placed in solitude because he feared what I had was contagious. After two weeks and dozens of blood tests my doctor concluded my immune system was failing due to a gamma globulin deficiency. I was given gamma globulin shots weekly for several years and I never had an infectious boil again. I never realized at the time, or even dozens of years later until I looked it up, my doctor saved my life. This condition would have killed me. Gamma globulin deficiency is referred to the “silent killer” because the symptoms are vague, random, and hard to decipher. Specialists existed in these days, but not as they do today. Hence, my doctor faced this issue by himself and solved it. Today, you would never see this – a general practitioner solving a problem to save someone’s life. Instead, a general practitioner’s role is to refer people to specialists (and hopefully they choose the right specialist).

My wife and I have spent over $75,000 (including what insurance covers) on medical bills over the past 4 years. I was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition which was explained to me in three unique but conflicting ways (in other words the neurologist had no clue what was going on nor did they care). None of the 8 doctors I saw over the course of my diagnosis are losing any sleep over the fact that I am in constant pain. My wife’s condition has yet to be identified after seeing dozens of specialists. And judging by the fact that none of them have followed up with her; I know they are not losing any sleep over the fact she is suffering from chronic pain.

My father went to three different doctors for stomach pain and bloating over a two month period. He was prescribed Pepto-Bismol. A week later he was spitting up blood and the gastroenterologist saved his life by cauterizing the source of the bleeding. After nearly two weeks and dozens of tests by specialists he still was not diagnosed. After looking at his symptoms online (we had a hunch) I took his records and film to an oncologist at the University of Florida. After 5 minutes he accurately explained my father’s symptoms without ever seeing him. The doctor explained how my father had 8 tumors and the liver tumor was far too advanced to correct. He said he may live another 2 months – four weeks later he died.

My mother died of ovarian cancer. She had to have her tests performed twice before she was diagnosed because the oncologist lost her initial records.

ObamaCare is going to aid in the medical demise. My in-laws can no longer find specialists in their community who accept Medicare. They have to drive 3 hours one way to see a cardiologist who accepts Medicare. ObamaCare not only cuts Medicare, but it eliminates the doctor fix. In other words, doctors do not want to see Medicare patients because it does not pay enough.

Another troubling aspect of the medical profession is the United States has to outsource to find doctors. Just as U.S. companies have to hire foreigners for math and engineering jobs, the U.S. has to hire foreigners to be our doctors. I am not saying that foreigners are bad doctors, but in my experience there has been a serious communication barrier with most.

So why is it that the costs of technological gadgets go down over time, but it seems the cost of medical equipment is always on the rise. The fact is that the cost of medical equipment is going down however it is the cost for doctors, who do not care about you, is what is driving medical expenses up.

I am thankful for my childhood doctor; I will never find another like him. I have probably been to over 50 different doctors since, and none come close. If I had to rely on my current doctors to resolve my childhood issue, I am sure I would be dead. My childhood doctor would not let money come between him doing his job; he was proactive and not reactive to solve problems; and he sincerely cared about me. He certainly would have never set up a follow up appointment and say “I have no idea what is wrong with you” and charge my family 100 dollars. This is common today, patients get nickeled and dimed for information that could be communicated over the phone for free. It is all about money and not our health with doctors. Thank goodness there are good engineers out there that are supplying doctors with the equipment necessary to solve medical mysteries.

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