Doctors who think they're God
|A Disturbing Doctor Appointment
I have poor circulation in my legs. After having my appointment with the vascular surgeon cancelled four times, I finally set out on the long journey to another town, to finally meet with her. Alas, when I arrived, she had been called to surgery and was being replaced by another doctor.
The point of the visit was to get the results of my Doppler, have my leg checked to see if it had healed properly after a surgery to remove two large abscesses, and determine whether my baby toe was infected.
*First I saw the senior resident who did look at my toe and said it wasn’t infected.
I wasn’t handed a gown and asked to change which I thought was strange. Finally, the great man arrived and sat at the desk without greeting me or my companion. He studied the computer screen and announced that the two stents in my leg were 20% blocked. He looked up and glared around and asked who had been smoking. I confessed. He was very rude and refused to look at the toe, just said not to worry about it because I'd be losing the whole leg soon, and that I had another Doppler in six months. Then he got up and left the room.
It was my own fault. He smelled smoke on me and decided I wasn’t worth his time. Perhaps that is within his rights. I know smoking is not good.
Had I been given the opportunity to speak, I would have mentioned that smoking is a contributing factor in clogging the arteries and not the cause. He should take into account diabetes, drugs used to treat arthritis, diet, inability to exercise, and genetics. Not just zero in on smoking.
The Hippocratic Oath has been rewritten, and modern doctors interpret it to serve themselves. He would do well to reread the new oath, paying special attention to some parts.
“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.”
“I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.”
BTW, did you know that, contrary to popular belief, nowhere in the oath does it say “Do no harm?”
I left the examining room feeling upset. A telephone call from him would have been all that was necessary, he could have given me the test results, insulted me, and told me I was worthless in the comfort of my own home, but he wanted to pass the little card through the machine that pays him big bucks for basically doing nothing.
My question is what comes next? Will doctors refuse to treat the elderly because they’re going to die anyway? What about heavy drinker because they’re putting their livers at risk? Or maybe race car drivers, pilots, motorcycle drivers, and hockey players because they have a risky life style?
*After returning home, I soaked my swollen, red, painful toe in hot salted water and pus drained out of it.