Last week, I went out to breakfast with some friends. We’ve all gotten used to spending $15 for a good omelet. But here’s the problem. When the omelet isn’t made the right way, the table is dirty and the waitress is rude, I can’t justify a $15 price tag, much less a tip on top of it.
I saw a patient recently who went to a clinic because she had an outbreak on her face. She saw a nurse practitioner who brought her into a room, looked at her face, and instructed her to sit in front of a computer. The nurse practitioner sat down next to this woman and basically said, “We’re going to try to find a picture of your condition on Google so we can figure out what it is.”
Realizing that you don’t have to be a doctor or nurse practitioner to diagnose a condition by matching pictures on Google, this woman got up and left.
I had another patient with severe bowel distress who came to me after spending months going to see other doctors. They put her on Prevacid, which is designed to treat a variety of stomach issues by breaking down excess stomach acid.
She wasn’t digesting her food properly, but they kept her on the medication. Nobody took the time to truly examine her gut and allow her to heal and rejuvenate so she could digest her own foods.
Whether we’re talking about a meal at a restaurant or medical care, we’ve been conditioned to pay or overpay for a product or service even when that product or service is mediocre or downright poor.
Why is this acceptable?
From a healthcare perspective, the two examples I mentioned provide a frightening illustration of the breakdown of healthcare in our country. I would like to know from my fellow healthcare professionals what their objective is. Are you the least bit concerned about our crumbling healthcare system and the crisis of chronic illness?
If you’re taking such obvious shortcuts in diagnosing and treating medical conditions, the answer is “no.” When I was a kid, every parent’s dream was for their child to grow up to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer – a highly respected professional.
Regardless of the path you choose, I think everyone should strive to be great at what they do. Do one thing really, really well. Spend your lifetime doing it and getting better at it.
Use your talent to help people and make a difference.
If you don’t feel your doctor shares that approach, I highly recommend finding a different doctor. I’ve spoken and written many times about being a healthcare consumer. Take the time to choose a doctor who takes the time to help you stay healthy.
Don’t settle for mediocrity. Last time I checked, Google wasn’t a medical school and they didn’t offer medical training. Take care of yourself. Look out for each other. And seek out doctors who are truly committed to your well-being.