Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Medical System and Its Usual Snafus

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 19, 2014 5:26 PM

Although I have criticized our medical system for its inefficiency, financial waste and multiple problems many times before, let me begin with a caveat. We have great doctors and nurses for the most part and people of means from all over the world, including places with universal healthcare, come to us (the U.S.A.) to solve serious health problems.

So, today I wasn't my usual pleasant, happy self while waiting for an hour to see the nurse, with whom I totally didn't need an appointment, before seeing the doctor, whose opinion I did seek. The nurse was there to check my vitals so the hospital could bill a little extra in this case, since the vitals really weren't relevant to the issue, a little nodule under the skin in my mouth. She asked questions about the form I had filled out to make sure I still claimed the same medical history as when I filled out the forms in the waiting room 1/2 hr. before. The doctor became available after I mentioned that I would be leaving 1 1/2 hrs.  after the set appt. time because of a previous commitment. He hadn't read my records, of course. He asked about the problem, looked at it, did no test and assured me that we could worry if it grew to twice its size.

He poked my ears and the left ear has hurt ever since. He did share some important information about ear wax and what to do for it, for which I'm grateful. I told him that I once was misdiagnosed about a lump in my ear which turned out to be my carotid artery. Maybe that was what he poked.

I have a suggestion. Since medical records are online, why doesn't every specialist at least do a search under some terms related to their speciality, like in this case "ENT," before seeing a patient.? In fact, there would be something useful for the nurse to do.

I know this anecdote is so mild compared to the real horrible stuff which happens and which I've documented before, but it's a little reminder that even in one of the best hospitals with one of the best docs reputation-wise, buyer beware.

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