What Is With Doctors?

I’m going back to the subject of doctors today.  It seems to be a hot topic in the Hypothyroidism group on Facebook lately.  I’m talking doctors that refuse to test, refuse to treat, refuse to listen to their patients, refuse to treat their patients with dignity and respect.  It’s outrageous that we spend what we do in co-pays and premiums, yet take this abuse from them because we think they know more than we do and they know better.  Well, they’re supposed to know more than we do, but unfortunately with the world at our fingertips, we often end up knowing more recent information than our doctors because they aren’t taking the time to keep up on research and treatments.  I’m not saying all doctors are idiots.  They aren’t.  But there are a LOT out there and it’s frustrating to hear story after story of people I meet in the group that say their doctor won’t listen or their doctor thinks it’s all in their head.  Well that last one is close.  A little lower doc.  Yeah, right there at the bottom of the neck  that’s where the thyroid is.  No, you can’t tell just from touching it if it’s not working  properly.

It’s mind boggling the lack-luster treatment we get from a lot of doctors.  It feels like I’m back in social work and dealing with state social workers who have no interest in their client’s best interests.  Just yesterday a woman shared that her doctor prescribed Synthroid for her but he wasn’t quite sure and he didn’t do blood work either.  I know before the tests came out that, that going by symptoms was how doctors diagnosed and treated.  However, in this day and age with all these tests, there is no excuse not to test, especially when you are handing someone a heavy med with side effects that brought me down.   Today a woman shared her 12 year old daughter was just diagnosed with it after a battle to have her tested when doctors were insisting she was miscarrying and that it was all in her head.  Well after a bout with nearly keeling over because her blood pressure was so low, the mother insisted on tests and that they wouldn’t leave without knowing what was wrong.  She got her answer, but all the doctor did was tell her she had hypothyroidism with low blood pressure and gave her a prescription for Synthroid, said her daughter would have to take it for the rest of her life.  That’s ALL.

I shared before that I fired my last doctor.  I started seeing my current one 10 years ago.  He shakes my hand when he comes in the room, he makes eye contact with me when we are talking.  He listens to me when I’m telling him what is going on.  He asks questions of me if he needs to.  He’ll admit when he doesn’t know something, but he sits there with me and looks it up (he has a laptop he brings in with him).  I absolutely love my doctor and the time he is willing to give to us.  When I was in there last week, he apologized for being late and that some of his previous patients had so much going on, it took more time than usual.  Given that I know he only sees a set amount of patients per day in order to do that, I don’t mind because one day if I’m in there, I want him to be able to spend more time with me if needed.

We contract doctors for a very important service.  Our health and well-being.  If your doctor doesn’t have your best interest at heart, it’s time to find another one.  If you live in a small area and can’t change doctor’s, then it’s time to put on the advocacy coat and make yourself be heard.  Go into your appointment with a list of questions and don’t let him/her dismiss you without answering the questions to your satisfaction.  Write down your symptoms so you don’t forget any, even ones that don’t seem related.  If your doctor refuses to test you for something and you know going into the appointment he/she will refuse, write a letter stating that the doctor is refusing to test you for such and such, take it in with you and when they refuse, insist they sign the letter, make you a copy and put the original in the chart.  I can’t take credit for this last suggestion.  It came from Mary Shomon’s Living Well With Hypothyroidism. It’s a way to get an uncooperative doctor to cooperate.  By putting it in writing in your official health record, it shows that they aren’t providing adequate treatment.  With malpractice suits what they are these days, no doctor wants that.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have fired my former doctor in person for his incompetence to make him aware that the way he takes no interest is the reason he is losing business.  So if you have to, let your doctor know that you’ve had it with the way he/she treats you and if it doesn’t change, you’re taking your business elsewhere.  Seriously.  And if I ever hear from a doctor directly, “It’s all in your head.”  I’m firing back with, “How do you know?  Have you been in my body to know I’m making all this up?  Have you felt the pain that keeps me in bed and away from doing the things I love?  Have you?”  Ah yes, I have become quite assertive over the years and can put someone in their place when needed.

Okay, I think I have all that out of my system now.  I’m sharing this link with you that I got from Leanne Ely of Saving Dinner.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704784904575111794140103252.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_news I’m not even commenting because I’m still irate about it and the FDA downplaying the contamination and the company continuing to send out contaminated product.  On a lighter note, if you didn’t get to listen in to Saving Dinner today, check it out on http://blogtalkradio.com  The shows are archived so you can listen to several past shows.

While I was listening and participating in the chat, someone asked about alternatives to those sugary juices.  I suggested juicing fresh fruits and veggies.  Someone else suggested Emergen-C and some club soda.  I thought, hmmm what’s in Emergen-C. I think I even asked in chat.  I wound up going to the website for Emergen-C and looked it up.  Don’t you love how ingredients are listed?  It tells you the percentage of vitamins and minerals are in it based on the RDA, so you think, “Hey, this is healthy stuff.”  But keep reading.  Yeah, below all that healthy stuff.  Here it is listed as “other ingredients”: fructose, citric acid, malic acid, orange juice powder, natural flavors, tapioca maltodextrin, silica, beta carotene, annato color, glycine, aspartic acid, tartaric acid, and cysteine hydrochloride.  That’s from the Super Orange flavor.  I can’t remember which on I clicked on when I was listening to the show.  But I was typing in the ingredients into chat and did a “OMG” when I got to the last one.  I mean seriously, what is cysteine hydrochloride?  I know what maybe half the ingredients are.  Fructose is sugar.  citric acid is what makes it fizz.  Beta carotene is the good stuff from orange fruits and veggies.  Okay, so I knew what 3 were.  If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your body!

I think it’s time to relax now that I’ve had my venting for the day.



  1. I too find most doctors’ bedside manners confounding. At a recent visit to a gastroenterologist recommended by my primary care doctor, I found that both I and another patient were booked for the same 10 minute appointment slot. When I pointed out the discrepancy on the sign in sheet, the receptionist just said that the other patient’s visit must be with the doctor’s PA. I think that the doctor’s appointment software system, which allows his multiple offices to book appointments at any office, still has some glitches that need to be worked out. After all, the PA is a doctor too with his own name.

    I believe that the medical insurance industry has managed to transform U.S. medical care into a business like any other based on its dictated payment schedule. For-profit practitioners found that the only way to keep their businesses afloat was to follow insurance-company dictated protocol even though insurers know little about medical care. The doctors all fell in line because I guess they thought that was their only option if they didn’t want to work on a salary basis for a non-profit medical facility like the Cleveland Clinic.

    That puts much of the available medical care in the same playing field as the finance industry that led to our current recession. Much like the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation, it seemed everyone in power was on board including leaders in the Justice Department. Regulators stopped regulating; attorneys created innovative loopholes to skirt what laws there were. Few spoke up as long as the money flowed, and no one listened to the outspoken few anyway.

    U.S. medical care is no longer about providing medical care. It’s about making money. Patients are a plentiful commodity since everyone is getting sicker and sicker due to the lack of any real oversight or regulation of our health systems. So no wonder doctors can act they way they do and hold onto obsolete beliefs about diseases and care. You are lucky you found one who listens.

    Doctorblue — disabled at age 50 because doctors felt that my mind was so powerful as to be able to generate the physiological maladies I had. Did you know they think I can bend a spoon by looking at it?

  2. I read the article to Dan and he said they just pulled some “Deans French Onion Dip” and a specific flavor of Pringles today.

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