Thursday, January 17, 2008
Patient, heal thyself
I love primary care doctors. I am a primary care doctor by training, so there you go. I know a little bit about a lot of stuff and a lot about kids in particular. I really respect any doc who can go to an office every day and not pull their hair out. I think I may have borderline ADD, at least when it comes to patients. Primary care is not my cup of tea, but more power to you. So here's my take on chronic problems like joint pain, headaches, etc. If it isn't getting any better after multiple interventions, get a referral. Heck, demand a referral. If they won't refer you, refer yourself and get some relief.
Let me give an example. Let's say I have a problem with my car. It is making a funny noise and I take it to the mechanic. They tell me that it is the transmission. I get the transmission fixed and it still makes the funny noise. I take it back and they say it is the alternator (I have no idea what an alternator is, but play along, okay?). We fix the alternator and it still makes the funny noise. Then they say it is the engine, yada, yada, yada. You wouldn't keep taking it to the same place if it isn't getting fixed, would you? You would take it to another mechanic! It is the same for your body. If you have a chronic medical problem and it isn't getting better, ask for a second opinion or a referral to a specialist. It is your body and your right. A good doctor is one who knows his/her limits and knows when they don't know what to do. Help is just a phone call away. And a $25 copay, of course.