What is wrong with medicine?

Posted on June 13, 2018



Before I get started, let me say that I am very, very grateful to live in the Boston area, where I have access to world-class medical professionals. I never take good health for granted. That being said, a recent experience during my annual physical made me stop and think.

I schedule the first appointment of the day, thinking that the doctor will be on time. Wrong – I waited 45 minutes for her to come into the room. I think the office double and triple books appointments. I don’t blame the doctor, I have a feeling that she has a set number of patients that she must see each day. The math must not work for seeing one patient at a time.

Before the doctor comes in, the nurse comes in and asks me a lot of questions. All the while, she is staring at the computer screen and not at me. I felt like I was talking to a wall. I could live with that because I know everything has to be in the electronic records. What was worse was the questions she asked. Every year, I get the same question about some medication that I took ONCE for a few days. Every year, I tell them I no longer take that prescription and am assured they will make a note of it on my records, yet it still shows up. The nurse then weighs me and measures my height. She then takes my blood pressure. She quickly types these numbers into the computer without saying much. I have learned that if you want to know your numbers, you have to ask. So I ask and she tells me. I maintain, shouldn’t patients be told these numbers automatically, without having to ask?

The nurse is supposedly reading directly from my records and questioned the fact that I hadn’t had some screenings done for over two years. Um, I just had those screenings done a month ago. And at the hospital that you all are affiliated with. She shakes her head and madly taps away at the keyboard and can’t seem to find these records. This went on for a few screenings. I KNOW they are there, since I have gone online myself and can see the results. What is the purpose of medical records if you can’t find them??????

You really have to be your own advocate and keep track of your tests, results and everything else. My doctor started to suggest that I see a specialist for something. I apologized for interrupting her, but told her that she had suggested that last year and I have been seeing that specialist.

I left my appointment more stressed than ever. I do feel bad for the doctors and nurses though since they have to deal with stuff every day.

What about you? What fun medical experiences have you had?