05-11-2012, 06:26 AM
#1
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Every 6 months I need to go to see my doctor so I can have my prescriptions refilled. I called and scheduled an appointment for later today, but towards the end of the phone call, the receptionist told me that their prices went up.

$65 to $85
Seriously, this is a rip off considering the typical office visit lasts less than 4 minutes. He comes in, acknowledges that I'm there, yet doesn't look to see who or what I am. While writing notes in my file, he asks a few questions then pulls out his little smart phone to send the prescription to the pharmacy.

I've been going to this place for 39 years. The doctor who delivered me at birth, my doctor for 30 of those years at that same office sadly passed away. He not only looked me in the eye, but also shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder, spoke to me and always smiled. It's all so informal, impersonal and hurried now.

I tried to find a new doctor, but the 4 other offices that I went to were just as cold. You don't even feel like a person, only a walking dollar sign or a nuisance. The dollar amount isn't the issue, it's how you're treated. I'd pay $100 per visit if any of them would display some form of interest in me.

I don't have health insurance and they seem not to like that even though I pay cash. Maybe they can squeeze more money from an insurance company, I don't know. Either way, gone are the days of a caring family doctor.

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 05-11-2012, 06:36 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Well, I have bad news for you. It is only going to get worse. And one of these days you will be forced to have insurance of some kind. Ain't life grand.Sad

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 05-11-2012, 07:59 AM
#3
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I read an article recently that med schools are now offering acting lessons so that they can at least try to appear concerned. I have no idea if this is true, but I do know that good bedside manner is severely lacking.

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 05-11-2012, 09:33 AM
#4
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Too bad you are not in Chicago, as one of our members, Dslazar, is an Internal Medicine Physician, and is truly compassionate. Plus, he would be happy to discuss DE and Str8 shaving!!!

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 05-11-2012, 11:19 AM
#5
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15 years ago one of my best friends was also my doctor. We walked many a fairway together, talking about any number of things.

One day during an office visit he literally stopped what he was writing, looked at me and said that he didn't know what to do. He just knew that he didn't want to practice medicine anymore. His eyes just looked like a sad puppys'. And he was an Internist! We talked for almost 2 months after that about his dilemma. He was literally tired of all the BS.

Everything from some lawyers to the size of staff required to keep up with all the new regulations, forms... on and on, was just too much. Sure enough, he ended up selling his practice and his headache was gone. You could just see it in his golf game. I got lucky. The Gal he sold it to is almost like a daughter now. Some of the things she has shared just make me want to cringe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of that 'cold' office feel and cost isn't all their fault. I think that most doctors would love to have everybody get out of the way and just let them do what they do best, practice medicine.

JMHO

I should add, he wasn't an old fart. 35 maybe. Not a good sign.

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 05-11-2012, 11:27 AM
#6
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(05-11-2012, 11:19 AM)PanchoVilla Wrote: 15 years ago one of my best friends was also my doctor. We walked many a fairway together, talking about any number of things.

One day during an office visit he literally stopped what he was writing, looked at me and said that he didn't know what to do. He just knew that he didn't want to practice medicine anymore. His eyes just looked like a sad puppys'. And he was an Internist! We talked for almost 2 months after that about his dilemma. He was literally tired of all the BS.

Everything from some lawyers to the size of staff required to keep up with all the new regulations, forms... on and on, was just too much. Sure enough, he ended up selling his practice and his headache was gone. You could just see it in his golf game. I got lucky. The Gal he sold it to is almost like a daughter now. Some of the things she has shared just make me want to cringe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of that 'cold' office feel and cost isn't all their fault. I think that most doctors would love to have everybody get out of the way and just let them do what they do best, practice medicine.

JMHO

This is very true. When healthcare changed from taking care of people to making money a lot of things suffered; patients & doctors included. The only people winning in this environment are the insurance companies.

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 05-11-2012, 11:29 AM
#7
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(05-11-2012, 11:19 AM)PanchoVilla Wrote: He was literally tired of all the BS.

Everything from some lawyers to the size of staff required to keep up with all the new regulations, forms... on and on, was just too much.

That's the main reason I retired from medicine, even though I still really enjoyed seeing patients. I never thought I was the smartest or best doctor in town, but I remember clearly how many patients told me that they really appreciated the fact that when I was with them, for their 15-30 minutes, I was really with them 100%.

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 05-11-2012, 11:33 AM
#8
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Worcester
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Speaking of unfriendly doctors, my girlfriend had to see the local dentist not long after moving here and he was the worst dentist I've met. Practically threatened her with root canals and bad little care about her slight fear of dentists. Did I mention he is also the dentist for the local prison too?

I've heard bad news about the local hospitals as well, most people I know will drive the two hours to go to Lubbock for medical needs.

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 05-11-2012, 01:45 PM
#9
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(05-11-2012, 09:33 AM)Rockford Wrote: Too bad you are not in Chicago, as one of our members, Dslazar, is an Internal Medicine Physician, and is truly compassionate. Plus, he would be happy to discuss DE and Str8 shaving!!!

Thanks Stuart, you have no idea how much that means to me. I still love and feel privelaged to be a physician. There are unpleasant pressures on us, but when I'm in a room with a patient, that's what it's all about. It helps a lot that the electronic records came very easy to me and I can look at people in the eye as I document. My group as a whole (we're still independent, but who knows how long that will last) long ago agreed that we will not double book and we will not try to see 25 patients a day. It makes me very sad to hear some of these experiences. I hear them a lot from patients who switched from other practices. I'm not going to try to make excuses for them, but there are pressures they cannot control coming from the the governemnt and the insurance industry. Back to shaving.......Great shave with my Feather Artists Club str8 today-it's an aggressive beast, must less forgiving than the regular straights, but it leaves you smoooooooth.

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 05-11-2012, 05:10 PM
#10
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(05-11-2012, 11:27 AM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(05-11-2012, 11:19 AM)PanchoVilla Wrote: 15 years ago one of my best friends was also my doctor. We walked many a fairway together, talking about any number of things.

One day during an office visit he literally stopped what he was writing, looked at me and said that he didn't know what to do. He just knew that he didn't want to practice medicine anymore. His eyes just looked like a sad puppys'. And he was an Internist! We talked for almost 2 months after that about his dilemma. He was literally tired of all the BS.

Everything from some lawyers to the size of staff required to keep up with all the new regulations, forms... on and on, was just too much. Sure enough, he ended up selling his practice and his headache was gone. You could just see it in his golf game. I got lucky. The Gal he sold it to is almost like a daughter now. Some of the things she has shared just make me want to cringe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of that 'cold' office feel and cost isn't all their fault. I think that most doctors would love to have everybody get out of the way and just let them do what they do best, practice medicine.

JMHO

This is very true. When healthcare changed from taking care of people to making money a lot of things suffered; patients & doctors included. The only people winning in this environment are the insurance companies.

Sure it's about the money, my doctors are always laughing and having a good time. They're cetainly not miserable. The biggest problem with health care is the state. If I mention anything about the state I'm in for a 5 minute rant. Oddly, my doctor is highly in favor of the up coming socialized health care nObama signed us up for; which would give more control to the state.

Socialized medicine doesn't work, and we're getting it. I can guarantee one thing, I won't pay for other peoples medical issues. If they want to take it from my income tax return as a 'penalty', I'll never pay taxes again.

This country is so messed up. But I'm going off on another topic.

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 05-11-2012, 05:10 PM
#11
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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The Doctor like the office has changed in many ways due to the cost of doing business..overhead is high,many employees just push paper (insurance billing) and in the Eye Business (I mean practice) what used to be a one on one usually is Dr. plus an assistant and 2 or even 3 patients booked at the same time..mistakes occur and people are rushed in and out..just the way it has gotten.As time goes on we as a country will ration health care...so get prepared to wait and to be proactive for your own concern..call for your results...ask what the prescription says and have it rewritten if you cannot read it...Remember it is your life..your heath and your right !!!!!

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 05-12-2012, 01:15 AM
#12
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
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(05-11-2012, 07:59 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: I read an article recently that med schools are now offering acting lessons so that they can at least try to appear concerned. I have no idea if this is true, but I do know that good bedside manner is severely lacking.

Bedside manner, as its referred to, has become an important portion of medical school curricula. There are many doctors still practicing, however, that were trained in a different era of medicine. Today, education in medicine focuses more on "patient centered care" than it used to. Meaning, the physician works WITH the patient to choose the best treatment. In the olden days, many doctors would just tell their patients what to do.

So I wouldn't say medical students take "acting classes." In fact, I'm sure some would take offense to that. Nowadays students know what they are getting into, and choose to do it because they are passionate about health care. Learning how to communicate and interact with patients is an important part of the educational process, just as much as learning how to differentiate disseminated intravascular coagulation from thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura.

Some of that drive gets beaten out of them through time, but I suspect most practicing physicians are not as happy as they used to be. In the 80's, reimbursements were much higher than they were today. For example, if you see a cardiologist for a visit or procedure, he is likely to receive only about 20% of the billed amount. Without this becoming a conversation about physicians salaries in the US, reimbursements from insurance companies have declined over time, and I don't know any other professions where someone would only receive 20% of a billed labor costs. I know nothing about lawyers or carpenters, but I suspect they receive a significantly larger portion of their billed time costs than 20%. I think an even greater issue, however, is simply the usage of their time. Many physicians are forced to spend hour and hours filling out exceedingly large amounts of paperwork. And I don't mean charts, I mean paperwork that contributes absolutely nothing to patient care, but simply part of the huge entangled health care mess. This is not unique to healthcare, however. In the financial industry, for example, the amount of bureaucratic paperwork has also risen exponentially. Its an unfortunate sign of the times I'm afraid. We are a nation obsessed with paperwork. And useless paperwork at that. I hope that I live to see a day when people realize how much effort and resources are wasted on these things, and how little benefit they actually contribute.

To get back to the original issue, there are a number of healthcare systems that reimburse physicians based on patient satisfaction. There is one here in San Diego called Kaiser Permanente. I have heard nothing but good things about it, both from patient and physician perspectives

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 05-14-2012, 06:16 PM
#13
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Well, I went from a caring Dr who had to retire (cancer) to a practice that is the McDonalds of drive through health care. It's the pits.

On a brighter note, our dogs have the best of health care and the best of Vets. Many years ago we had these same 2 vets in another practice and we thought the world of them. Then they had a falling out with the owner and left to go elsewhere. We'd see them now and again, here and there, and basically kept in touch that way. The practice where they had been at changed to a McDonalds drive through of Vet care, and we hated it. Then these 2 Vets teamed up and opened up their own vet clinic. After moving our 2 dogs back into their care once again, we got the story. They didn't like what the other clinic was becoming and that's why they took off. In their own clinic they can take their time with the animals and owners, and that's all they really wanted to do in the other clinic, but were always at odds with the manager and owner over it.

FWIW, they began their clinic less than a year ago and they already have had to hire another vet. They're doing great. They aren't cheap, but they are very good. And they care. Deeply. And it shows.

I wish I could find the same sort of quality care for the wife and I that our dogs have. I remember the old GPs and I've had really good ones. It's just going to get worse gents, and a majority of Americans wanted it... the nebulous and never defined "change". Well, change is here and it'll get worse... even more change is coming.

I know why we in Maine have such expensive health care, and it isn't the insurance companies. It's my legislators who tell the insurance companies that they must cover every little bandaid and every aspirin. That makes health care extemely expensive. And the same idiot legistlators won't allow other insurers into the state that allow large deductibles to keep costs down. These same legislators spend our tax money like it grows on trees, and now that the well is drying up they can't understand that they need to get rid of programs that we all told them we couldn't afford in the first place. Morons! Tar and feathers is far too good.

OK, off the soapbox now. Anyway, our dogs have the health care I wish I had. They're just dogs.

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 05-14-2012, 07:50 PM
#14
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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With reduced care and long waits...soon you can scan yourself with an i-phone and a friendly non English speaking Doctor in India or somewhere will tell you to take 2 asprin and e-mail him or her in the a.m. ...Oh yah your local Walmart might offer a quickie exam and of course like in California there are the Pot Doctors..cures anything..smoke up and all will be well.

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 05-14-2012, 08:04 PM
#15
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(05-14-2012, 07:50 PM)Harvey Wrote: With reduced care and long waits...soon you can scan yourself with an i-phone and a friendly non English speaking Doctor in India or somewhere will tell you to take 2 asprin and e-mail him or her in the a.m. ...Oh yah your local Walmart might offer a quickie exam and of course like in California there are the Pot Doctors..cures anything..smoke up and all will be well.

I've heard about the Pot Doctors. They operate in so called "Wellness Clinics". A colleague of mine wrote an article about how all chiropractors in California have to steer clear of using "Wellness" in their name as people are breaking in & looking for pot!

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 05-14-2012, 09:00 PM
#16
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(05-14-2012, 06:16 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: It's just going to get worse gents, and a majority of Americans wanted it... the nebulous and never defined "change". Well, change is here and it'll get worse... even more change is coming.

These same legislators spend our tax money like it grows on trees, and now that the well is drying up they can't understand that they need to get rid of programs that we all told them we couldn't afford in the first place. Morons! Tar and feathers is far too good.

Amen, Brian. The real change is coming and I'm afraid it's not at all what people expected. Put your faith in politicians and this is what happens.

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 05-14-2012, 10:43 PM
#17
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Maybe the answer is to watch Dr. OZ on TV ,eat well and exercise..then pray you don,t get sick..guy I know was in a motorcycle accident ..in intensive careand coma and bill was almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS plus $32,000 for air travel back to Boston and he will be in rehab until the money and or insurance ends...oh yah we are in for major issues.

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 05-15-2012, 11:13 AM
#18
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(05-14-2012, 09:00 PM)CyanideMetal Wrote:
(05-14-2012, 06:16 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: It's just going to get worse gents, and a majority of Americans wanted it... the nebulous and never defined "change". Well, change is here and it'll get worse... even more change is coming.

These same legislators spend our tax money like it grows on trees, and now that the well is drying up they can't understand that they need to get rid of programs that we all told them we couldn't afford in the first place. Morons! Tar and feathers is far too good.

Amen, Brian. The real change is coming and I'm afraid it's not at all what people expected. Put your faith in politicians and this is what happens.

Oh, I will guarantee you it's everything I expected. The chit is fixing to hit the fan.

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 05-16-2012, 01:02 AM
#19
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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A short story for you from a Surgeon's conference in the UK:

They were discussing outcomes for patients after surgery, and one Consultant Surgeon piped up and said that he had noticed that a patient he that had been kind to had improved much more rapidly after the operation than the rest of his patients.

Another surgeon in the audience suggested (quite rightly) that perhaps the first surgeon should be kind to all his patients ...

I think that some guys just don't get it, but they could learn it as a skill, just like everything else they pick up.

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