Patient Safety - Reality Check

Second Opinions

A physician writing in a patient safety chat threat in facebook wrote that a patient should find a doctor he/she trusts and put faith and care in the hands of that doctor. Learn to get comfortable letting that one doctor guide your healthcare.

I responded that learning to get comfortable letting one doctor guide your care is like learning to get comfortable driving without a seat belt.

I think she banned me from the channel.

It's important not to let the self-serving myopia of caregivers injure you.

Myopia

A patient wrote in to the New York Times saying that his doctor told him that if he slept a few extra hours each day his broken foot would heal faster. "There is no evidence, even anecdotal, that more sleep promotes or accelerates bone healing, " said Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser, an orthopedic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Patients sometimes turn their lives upside down in order to comply with nonsense provided to them by doctors. Sometimes the advice is more onerous, or even harmful.

I trusted one

My doctor persuaded me that my interest in getting second opinions was only my searching for someone who would tell me what I wanted to hear. Eventually he persuaded me to put myself solely in his hands. I stopped getting second opinions. Then he injured me and reinjured me leaving me with a permanent disability caused by his being unobservant and unwilling to pay for a simple test.

It can cost your physician money to get a tests. But physicians make money every time they refill a prescription, and for expending very little effort. So he chose to make money by mega dosing me on a prescription that caused injuries without healing anything. A second opinion could have prevented all of that.

After half of year of his damaging mega dosing, it was a second opinion that finally arrested my doctor's continuing to cause new problems. I finally got a test that showed that the original problem was not being addressed by mega dosing me on the drugs that were creating problems that I now have to live with for the rest of my life.

Crowns

I trusted my dentist too. It turned out he was installing unnecessary crowns. He still does that with his patients. It's routine for him. Dentists make a lot of money on crowns. Who is going to stop him?

Always get second opinions

When another doctor asks what a previous doctor thought, I respond that I want to know "what you think." Why am I going to the trouble and expense of seeing a second or third doctor if they only are going to parrot each other? Do the work and give me a fresh opinion.

There was a pile of examples ready to include, but do we need more than these?