For years, I’ve been curious as to why a doctor’s profession is called a medical practice. Having had a number of medical issues over the last few years, however, helped me clear up the mystery. I have experienced one misdiagnosis after the other, one specialist after the other, one medication after the other. Finally, it occurred to me that the reason doctors call their professions medical practices is because that’s exactly what they do. They literally “practice” on their patients. They seldom have concrete answers, only speculation. And forgive me for saying this, but a scary number of them don’t know what the hell they’re doing. I swear that a few doctors I’ve consulted had a dart board in their private offices. And when they’d say, “I’ll be right back,” they went into this private office, tossed a dart at a board with randomly scattered ailments, and whatever the dart hit, that’s what became my diagnosis.
Sound harsh? Over the top? Based on my personal experiences and the issues I’ve witnessed with family and friends, I think I’m justified in saying that not all doctors graduated at the top of their class. In fact, mathematically speaking, 50% of all doctors graduated in the lower half of their class. And here’s a scary thought. Somewhere out there is a doctor who got the lowest passing grades possible, like a D+, and still got their medical license.
It seems to me that in this day and age, a doctor’s best friend is their prescription pad. Just about every time I see my primary care physician, I’m halfway through telling her what’s ailing me and before I finish my sentence she’s reaching for her prescription pad. Seriously. The last time I consulted her, which, by the way, was the last time I’ll ever consult her, I complained of a mysterious rash on my lower legs. Her first comment: “Wear long pants when you’re outside in the sun.” Wow. After years of medical school and training, this is the best she can do?
My wife has been dealing with an overheating problem for years. She always has a low grade fever. While she’s sitting in front of the TV in shorts and a tank top, I’m next to her with sweat pants and a flannel shirt. I can’t begin to tell you how many specialists she’s consulted because we both lost count. Bottom line: not one doctor can tell her what’s causing the overheating or how to treat it.
Not convinced yet? A good friend of mine is suffering with severe headaches. Her father died of a brain tumor, so naturally she’s hypersensitive. She has been trying to convince her doctor to order an MRI for months, but her doctor refuses to do so because she feels the headaches are migraines. Now keep in mind that prior to a few months ago she never had this condition. She finally got a referral to a neurologist and she asked him to please order an MRI. You know what he told her? “MRI’s are very expensive so doctor’s use discretion when ordering them.” Are you friggin’ kidding me?!
To make this situation even more absurd, when she told the neurologist that her dad died of a brain tumor, he told her that family history was not relevant! What?
I keep hearing that there are lots of great doctors out there, but I have yet to bump into one that dazzled me. Yes, I know that they’re human and they’re not Gods. But come on, can they get it right just once in a while?
In all honesty, I’m ready to try some alternatives to orthodox medicine. Maybe acupuncture. Maybe voodoo. How can it be much worse than what I have experienced thus far? Anyone know how much a plane ticket to Nairobi costs?