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el chupacabra May 3, 2013 02:39 PM
Surprising Confessions of a Surgeon
I just saw an add for a 20/20 episode that will air tonight 10/9c (whatever that means); The topic that interested me is the confessions within the medical field. None of it surprises me as Im one of those people who cant think of anyone I know, including myself, who's had anything but a bad experiences with health professionals. in the past 3 years 3 acquaintances of mine have died due to negligence in routine procedures. They didn't really die from "mistakes" because even after the mistakes were made they were realized, and easily correctable, instead, doctors, who seemed so dedicated when first meeting them, chose to abandon them rather than go back and correct. Its no longer just a conspiracy imagined by chup anymore. All chupacabra's conspiracies are truth and will come to light at some point, hopefully before it's too late for everyone.

Some sound bites I heard about tonight's program; 1 in 5 deaths are caused by medical mistakes(skeptical of this actually). Insurance companies make 30% more profit that they wouldn't make if there were no mistakes. On top of that a lot of people don't realize that doctors and hospital boards are on the payrolls of large insurance companies who dictate to the hospitals what diseases are allowed to be diagnosed, how to diagnose, and what treatments to use. There are some major conflicts of interest within the system that I really wish people would put some pressure on rather than constantly defend. The insurance run medical cartel needs to die.

5 Surprising Confessions of a Surgeon - ABC News

Anyway it's Friday so I don't see many people watching it, but Im going to try, and at the least watch it on the net later.
 
subego May 3, 2013 03:01 PM
My doctor is awesome.

One way I know this is she hates insurance companies.
 
Doc HM May 5, 2013 02:02 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4229028)
My doctor is awesome.

One way I know this is she hates insurance companies.
People often hate that which controls and has power over them.
 
subego May 5, 2013 03:05 PM
The irony is Doctors know they have zero control over you. Most of their job is telling people to do things which won't happen.
 
Doc HM May 6, 2013 08:43 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4229218)
The irony is Doctors know they have zero control over you. Most of their job is telling people to do things which won't happen.
Which is why 90% of their advice is to come back in 2 weeks if you aren't better. Nearly everything is better in 2 weeks anyway, unless it actually is going to kill you.
 
subego May 6, 2013 12:46 PM
So, I die of a bad back?
 
el chupacabra May 7, 2013 04:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Doc HM (Post 4229260)
Which is why 90% of their advice is to come back in 2 weeks if you aren't better. Nearly everything is better in 2 weeks anyway, unless it actually is going to kill you.
There is a bit of a flaw with the fact that 90% of their advise is to come back in 2-6 weeks. Most working adults wouldn't go to the doc if they hadn't been sick a while or the situation wasn't getting worse. We don't have time (With the jobless, and kids it's a different story, parents bring them in for every little thing).

Isn't the standard sick leave about 2 weeks a year? If you've missed 2 weeks already or are about too; then you might only have a little bit of sick leave left. Waiting another 2 weeks just for the doc to start testing, then 2 weeks for tests to come back, then 2 weeks to test something else since they don't do many tests the 1st time, then 2 weeks for those results, then change specialists who tells you to come back in 2 weeks, wait 2 weeks for their test results, then start treatment.... could be devastating for you financially. Which is why roughly half of all foreclosures in the US are blamed on the onset of long term illness . This optimistic scenario I just listed is far from realistic; most the time they don't have a diagnosis with just 2-3 rounds of testing.

Im pretty fortunate myself. If I worked for many of these companies out there I would have been fired a long, long time ago. It took 2 years of a few tests at a time, for docs to zero in on the family of diseases thats getting me; only with me and friends doing most the research. It wasn't til I went to one of those out of network dreadful 'unscientific' alternative medicine doctors that I got steered in the right direction. She did more blood work than any other docs. It pissed me off because it turns out it's not that complicated. I'd been to ~20 docs, one of the top rated infectious disease guys in the nation; waited a long time to see him. He got mad at me saying my illness was not his specialty; ran tests not associated with his specialty and sent me away. Turns out the alt. med. doc found a potentially deadly infection that every lab screens routinely. If it had been caught early it wouldn't be so much a problem. Why couldn't docs have just tested for more common things in their field? My false diagnoses in the past 2 years have been in this order: acid reflux, throat infection, stress, pancreatic cancer, allergies, acid reflux again by 4 docs, flu, stress, low vitamins and see a psych. The silliness and lack of scientific thought behind acid relfux becomes apparent when one knows the symptoms are going from active to half-way-to Stephen Hawking in a 3 month period. Clinical diagnoses are a sham. The alt med doc was the only one that used real scientific research. (Im only posting this for purely political debate; I don't like sympathy, Ive come to terms by now)

I feel really bad for all these people out there that are manipulated into believing they have "good" insurance and "benefits" provided by their employer. Then when they need to use those benefits for something serious they realize that when sick leave runs out, benefits are no longer paid by employer, in which case they're often dropped and you're SOL. All that money paid to insurance premiums over the years by employer and self could have been put in a practical tax free, health savings account; and it goes a long way.

Quote
subego
My doctor is awesome.
One way I know this is she hates insurance companies.
I like my family doctor. Unfortunately he can't help much with anything too complex; and has no control over the specialists, outside hospitals he refers me to. I guess only insurance companies can control them.
 
mduell May 7, 2013 08:19 PM
It seems like medicine could benefit from an aviation-style safety culture.
 
ghporter May 7, 2013 09:56 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Doc HM (Post 4229209)
People often hate that which controls and has power over them.
In the case of American health insurance companies, it is more a matter of doctors not liking the fact that some insurers second-guess doctors, sometimes without bothering to have a medical professional of any kind review the data. They deny clearly necessary treatments because "nobody has ever needed that treatment (that we know of off the tops of our pointy heads), and limit treatment to some ludicrously brief period or number of visits, too. Physicians can often cover their costs without having to bill an insurer, but when you go to the trouble of billing someone who seems to randomly reject your claims, it leads to a pretty serious disgust.
 
ghporter May 7, 2013 10:00 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by mduell (Post 4229595)
It seems like medicine could benefit from an aviation-style safety culture.
If medicine were as deterministic and mechanical as aviation, that would work fine. There ARE institutional safeguards in place in surgery, such as the "time out" checks done before the patient is draped for the procedure, including the surgeon discussing with the patient where the procedure is to be done and physically marking the appropriate body part. During surgery a very close count of instruments, sponges, etc. is kept, and it is double checked at the end before the patient leaves the surgery suite.

It is typically the diagnostic testing, the interpretation of the results of testing, and the specific thought processes involved in diagnosis that are problematic. Kind of hard to use aviation-style safety rules for that sort of thing.
 
The Final Shortcut May 8, 2013 01:26 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by el chupacabra (Post 4229542)
Im pretty fortunate myself. If I worked for many of these companies out there I would have been fired a long, long time ago. It took 2 years of a few tests at a time, for docs to zero in on the family of diseases thats getting me; only with me and friends doing most the research. It wasn't til I went to one of those out of network dreadful 'unscientific' alternative medicine doctors that I got steered in the right direction. She did more blood work than any other docs. It pissed me off because it turns out it's not that complicated. I'd been to ~20 docs, one of the top rated infectious disease guys in the nation; waited a long time to see him. He got mad at me saying my illness was not his specialty; ran tests not associated with his specialty and sent me away. Turns out the alt. med. doc found a potentially deadly infection that every lab screens routinely. If it had been caught early it wouldn't be so much a problem. Why couldn't docs have just tested for more common things in their field? My false diagnoses in the past 2 years have been in this order: acid reflux, throat infection, stress, pancreatic cancer, allergies, acid reflux again by 4 docs, flu, stress, low vitamins and see a psych. The silliness and lack of scientific thought behind acid relfux becomes apparent when one knows the symptoms are going from active to half-way-to Stephen Hawking in a 3 month period. Clinical diagnoses are a sham. The alt med doc was the only one that used real scientific research. (Im only posting this for purely political debate; I don't like sympathy, Ive come to terms by now)
What type of "alt" doctor did you see; what tests did they administer that the specialists did not; and what infection was found?

I have traditionally had little confidence in "alternative" medicines, but I've recently been faced with either undergoing a (non-essential) painful surgery with terrible baseline recovery times; continuing in my current state (not ideal, as I can no longer run or be nearly as active as I'd like); or trying some alternative therapy/medicines in the hope that I find a workable alternative to invasive surgery. So I'll probably at least give it a try, to see what happens - not much downside, but I'm pretty dubious....
 
el chupacabra May 8, 2013 07:36 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut (Post 4229684)
What type of "alt" doctor did you see; what tests did they administer that the specialists did not; and what infection was found?
I going to try and answer your questions while being a bit vague at the same time.
This wasn't a magic stones, treat with mystical herbs doc. But they do give a list of herbs/supplements and veggies which they recommend for good health. While called a doctor the person I went to see was not licensed MD. They are referred to as Alternative because they do not believe or follow the CDC's / insurance recommendations for diagnosis or treatment; and the majority of the medical community considers their methods a dangerous scam. This doc tends to believe that many diseases are caused by tough infections which isn't status quo. There is often witch hunts to shut these types down. One does need to be careful, as they should any other doc; you have to do your own research and learn what things to trust, since nobody's going to give perfect advice. This person specializes in certain infections. What the doc found with me was the reactivation of a virus that is usually suppressed by the immune system since childhood. If reactivated due to intense stress it kinda takes over giving you a neurological disease. Some people live with this their whole lives with few issues. Some people die quickly; some people get completely cured. It turns out this is based on brand new discoveries just made in the past 2-6 years; and the CDC, WebMD (where docs go to research), as well as the rest of the medical community are now on board. So there wasn't any excuse for the 1st infectious specialist I went to, to not test for it. I've learned to always get 2nd opinion and do my own googling of whatever med professionals say to me.
Quote
I have traditionally had little confidence in "alternative" medicines, but I've recently been faced with either undergoing a (non-essential) painful surgery with terrible baseline recovery times; continuing in my current state (not ideal, as I can no longer run or be nearly as active as I'd like); or trying some alternative therapy/medicines in the hope that I find a workable alternative to invasive surgery. So I'll probably at least give it a try, to see what happens - not much downside, but I'm pretty dubious....
Sounds like back or knee issues. As long as there's not much chance the ailment will get worse if untreated I myself would avoid surgeries. Somebody that my family advised not to undergo back surgery ended up more crippled after the surgery than before and it doesn't look like shes going to get better. On the other hand a friend fractured some vertebrae; didnt go to the doc for surgery or physical therapy and now it has permanently healed incorrectly and will only get worse. Another friend has had 8 joint surgeries; it started out as something routine and with each surgery got worse. In every case the doctor did not do the surgery the way they said they would. In one case a piece of drill bit had broke off and been left in during the surgery... and covered up by the doc only to be found years later. One family member got an infection from back surgery; then they were overdosed on antibiotics which led to nerve damage. They were told people cant regrow nerve nerve tissue and damage was permanent. So patient went to alt med doc who gave a series of exercises that over a year completely cured the problem. Patient then became part of a study by 'real' doctors about nerve tissue's ability of 'rewiring' to restore function.

This might be one of those situations where you have to look at the data, research how serious it is, what other people have done, until either the rock or the hard place starts to look like a softer choice. Based on experience, I'd say if you choose surgery fly to a big city thats a prime tourist destination. This adds to the probability you will find very successful highly paid doc who do the job right. Docs who live in a place that few rich people would choose to live in; ask yourself if those docs live there because they love it, and think it's worth the pay cut, or because they couldn't get good work anywhere else. I have found a correlation.

If you choose alt med; don't filter the docs; do filter the treatments. They might have great advise for exercises, supplements etc that can reduce symptoms but then talk about the power of light therapy. If you take vitamins, research in such places as consumerlabs to find out which ones aren't toxic; ie vit B is usually toxic unless its prescription. Your alt med might be able to help with this and know what foods to get these naturally. My doc was invaluable to my diagnosis; but that doesn't mean Im sure she's the best person to treat it. This might require a specialist of specialists.

I know how you feel, I used to like scuba, bike, mountain climbing. Never saw this comin. Now.... well... Im here pestering people on macnn pl more than ever ;)
 
mduell May 12, 2013 03:03 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter (Post 4229608)
If medicine were as deterministic and mechanical as aviation, that would work fine. There ARE institutional safeguards in place in surgery, such as the "time out" checks done before the patient is draped for the procedure, including the surgeon discussing with the patient where the procedure is to be done and physically marking the appropriate body part. During surgery a very close count of instruments, sponges, etc. is kept, and it is double checked at the end before the patient leaves the surgery suite.

It is typically the diagnostic testing, the interpretation of the results of testing, and the specific thought processes involved in diagnosis that are problematic. Kind of hard to use aviation-style safety rules for that sort of thing.
I wasn't referring to procedures, but rather culture. The existence of and culture for making use of anonymous incident reporting systems, whistleblower protections from the regulators, etc.
 
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