Greetings! I'm getting so many questions from patients, friends, and family right now about these calls and letters so many of us are getting from the hospitals and group practices our doctors work for telling us what we need to do to 'protect our health' going forward and 'make sure we're taking care of ourselves and our chronic medical problems' during this Pandemic. Just the fact that a physician is getting these types of messages from another physician’s office is a blinking red light that there might be a problem here. This is corporate medicine. This is capturing a fee for providing a product. From their point of view it’s no different than listing the all the sandwiches they make or the various lengths of timber they have for sale, from our point of view however it’s the difference between a zebra and a firetruck.
What any of us need to get done on a regular basis and what we need to do first from the list of anything we might have missed subsequent to the COVID-19 Pandemic is personal to us and unique to our medical conditions and risk factors – and not likely not going to be addressed by a list generated by administrators and attorneys from the Risk Management department of some hospital by some skimming the internet and looking at the procedures they made the most money from prior to COVID. We are all aging, many of us have chronic issues to attend to, and most us missed at least a few appointments during quarantine - we definitely need something - but it’s not to be run through a generic laundry list of testing and visits that have dubious value.
Your health has value, your time has value, your healthcare dollar as value, and none of these are in infinite supply! No one calling you is calling to look after you - they're calling to re-capture business, revenue, and protect themselves by saying that they at least called if anything happens to you down the road. THAT'S NOT MEDICINE! You need a lot more than someone else looking after their own various interests while they run commercials congratulating themselves, applauding their staff, and telling you how much they were there for you during the 4-5 months they closed their offices and would only treat COVID-19 in their ERs!
Genuine medical care is a licensed medical professional who; from their training and experience treating you create a list specific to your conditions; then making educated professional decisions and prioritizing that list for you; so you can make the most informed decisions and the best use of your resources to get whatever care you need.
To whomever is calling and trying to schedule or terrify you or your family members into
scheduling for a whole roster of visits and procedures that you might have missed my advice is to simply thank them, hang-up, and then GO SEE YOUR FAMILY PHYSICIAN! If they're closed, limiting their appointments, or for some reason refusing to see you if you might be sick - then go see another one who wants to do their job as much as they want to get paid for it!!! And if you don't have one – go get one! This is the time to sit with someone who knows you or will take 15-45 minutes to get to know you and share their expertise to help you:
(1) determine what you're most pressing medical issues might be in order of severity;
(2) what should be done first to start chasing those down;
(3) help you get them done in the most prudent manner possible; and finally
(4) go over all the results with you and plan accordingly!
Don't let yourself or your loved ones be fed to some hospital or giant group practice trying to line its pockets or protect itself from months of negligence under the pretense of providing you care – they've all had the chance to do all those things over the course of 2020 and most of them chose to run for the hills and have been nowhere to be found.
No one needs me or any other doctor the tell to tell them these are trying times! A lot has fallen through the cracks for all of us! Don't let yourself suffer or be put at even more risk than you might have been already while this thing has been allowed to take over our lives. Don't just get a bunch of tests, hope you picked the right ones, and then hope that someone who understands will find you somehow and tell how to read them. Find yourself a genuine Family Physician who's not reading from a list they got from the corporate office and who is instead first and foremost taking accountability for your healthcare and is both ethically and legally responsible for your outcome.
If there's ever a time or place for corporate medicine this isn't it! This is a time for discretion and prudent informed decision making – to get as much of the most important information as you need as efficiently as possible and minimize the chance of anything dangerous slipping by
– forge a relationship with a good doctor – or at least a doctor you're comfortable with; get the personalized insights that only their training and experience can provide; make a genuine plan of care, and then get back on a good schedule for whatever you might need going forward!
Enjoy whatever Holiday that you may be celebrating and from my practice and family we wish you a Very Merry Christmas!!!"