WHAT HAPPENS IF…?

IndecisionWhether you have recently moved to a new city or state or plan to live in your current location, how prepared are you for potential health complications. Most people seek out a general family physician or internist, a dentist …. and the list usually ends there. For discretionary spending, the list is not only substantially longer, but typically involves greater research efforts. This list might include the following examples: (1) hair salon, (2) nail salon, (3) spa, (4) grocery store, (5) sports bars, (6) golf courses, (7) Walmart, (8) Costco, (9) Pizza delivery stores, (10) Home Depot… and the list goes on.

What happens if:

  1. you experience unrelenting pain in the vicinity just under the rib cage on the right side of the body with pain radiating into the right shoulder blade?
  2. you experience tightness in the chest with possible pain in the jaw and/or numbness in the left arm?
  3. you experience blood in your urine?
  4. you experience blood in your stool?
  5. you experience unexplained weight loss with or without muscular or joint pain?
  6. you experience back or neck pain that over the counter medications and or prescriptive drugs do not alleviate or improve physical function?
  7. you experience difficulty speaking with abnormal changes in facial muscle tone?
  8. you experience unexplained weight gain, brittle hair, dry skin, frequent constipation?
The obvious answer is to seek professional healthcare advice. Since most people have a limited choice between their family physician/internist or dentist, it seems the medical physician would be a good starting point. What happens if the physician determines the results of his or her exam requires a “Specialist” for further evaluation and treatment? What steps have you taken in preparation for this type of event? Most people rely on their doctors to refer specialists. Do you think that each specialist referred will meet YOUR STANDARDS AND CRITERIA for the quality of care you’re entitled to? Do you think your primary physician takes the time to refer a Specialist that matches your personal needs and personality to produce an optimal outcome? Isn’t it more likely that the primary physician will have a cardiologist, neurologist, urologist, etc provided by the office he or she works in for referrals or a facility where the policy is to refer to in house specialists? What are the chances the referral will be the BEST CHOICE for your specific needs?
Since most people rely on themselves to find primary doctors that meet their health care requirements, why shouldn’t we invest the same (if not more energy and time) finding specialists that fulfill these same stringent health care requirements? Relying on a primary doctor to know “ALL THE BEST CHOICES OF SPECIALISTS” for each individual patient is pretty unlikely. As a patient paying for these professional services, would you be satisfied with a mediocre specialist providing mediocre care producing mediocre results?
If your primary physician was sub par and required multiple office visits to determine what antibiotic would finally resolve your bacterial infection, the worst outcome would likely be lingering annoying symptoms and a few extra days of lost work with possible lost wages. If your cardiologist, neurologist, urologist or endocrinologist was sub par, your life may be placed at risk. Yet most of us are cavalier about ensuring we have these specialists in place BEFORE WE NEED THEM! When an emergency arises, how capable do you think you would be to solicit and interview multiple specialists to determine your best choice?
If your reaction to these questions is, “I never thought about what happens if?…,” maybe it’s time to think about it. Since most of you are not currently experiencing problems requiring immediate emergency specialty care, you have time to do your homework and start the shopping process. You shop for nail salons, hair salons, golf courses and sports bars; now it’s time to shop for healthcare specialty facilities. Probably not nearly as much fun as other types of shopping, but a chore that might just save your life.
Don’t be intimidated. You are in the driver’s seat. You are the boss handling the interview and hiring the “candidate” of choice. Prepare yourself by having questions ahead of time. Schedule a COMPLIMENTARY consultation, but respect the physician’s time by keeping the visit short. Five minutes is a reasonable time frame. Personally, if a doctor cannot afford or is unwilling to provide five minutes, you might need to question the time they would be willing to spend with you as a patient. Be direct and courteous. Ask the relevant questions that will help you decide if the physician qualifies as a good choice.
Gather your list of choices and record their names, addresses and phone numbers. This process may just be the best investment of time you will ever make. After all, your LIFE could depend on your choices.
(On a side note) For those of you curious whether you guessed correctly the possible conditions for the eight examples of what happens if… listed above, here are some possible diagnoses.
  1. Gall Bladder

  2. Heart Attack

  3. Urinary Tract Infection or Bladder Infection or Kidney Infection/Stone

  4. Ulcerative Colitis or Colon Cancer

  5. Unspecified Cancer (further evaluation would determine specificity)

  6. Herniated Disc or Sciatica (for the low back) or Facet Syndrome

  7. TIA (transient ischemic attack) or Stroke

  8. Thyroid Disorder

These are conditions that Specialist’s commonly treat. Primary physicians will typically refer to Specialists for most of these situations. The Primary Physician would be the best provider to know WHAT TYPE OF SPECIALIST you need to see. YOU can then provide YOUR CHOICE for his or her referral.
Stay healthy and happy and well adjusted. (As a Chiropractic Physician, I was compelled to add the well adjusted part.)

Has this article provided information you found beneficial?

Will you make the time to find Specialists who meet your healthcare criteria?

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16 comments

  1. I don’t do interviews and don’t go around looking for the best whatevers. If it doesn’t work out depending on what it is I go elsewhere the next time. Just the thought of trying to interview a dr freaks me out. I hate job interviews and it isn’t just because they ask the questions. I hate when the want to know if I have any questions. Nope just can’t do it. I need a podiatrist and I will pick one out of the book that is the most convenient for me. I also need a urologist in the future. Well now, but can only do one dr at a time. The finances just aren’t there.Can’t say I know anyone who interviews drs before picking one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most people don’t, but how does one expect to find a doctor offering the level and quality of care needed if they aren’t part of the decision making process? If we need a plumber,electrician or handiman, we have to do the work to find people we are comfortable with. Why shouldn’t we do some homework if our lives potentially depends on it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest I feel it is one of those things that you have to form your own opinion. Just because Suzy loves Dr X doesn’t mean I will. I went through that with my last psychiatrist. I felt she was a backstabbing bitch. A guy I met in partial hospitalization after getting out of inpatient loved her. Neither one of us could figure out why the other had their opinion. I also don’t think a 5 minute interview will tell you much either. You have to have an actual appointment for a problem to see how they operate. This guy has changed over the years and I bug him because I refuse to get all the tests they want you to get yearly. I also won’t get a flu or any other kind of shot. He told me to treat my body like my car and get it the preventive care. Surprise my car gets an oil change once in a blue moon and repairs as needed. He thought that would win me over I can be stubborn as hell. Just ask my family and drs I see. And to bring religion into it. If I am supposed to die of cancer or whatever, preventive care isn’t going to stop that. He has a plan. I figure if my number is up, it is up, I will go however. I believed that even before I returned to God. I believed in fate. What you do won’t alter it.

        Now my 2 girls get every test and shot recommended. They aren’t even 40 and are doing mammograms already. They changed the age to 35. Now my son won’t go to the dr unless he is dying.

        I respect your opinions and don’t stop giving them you might find I agree with one of them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Before I see a doctor, I read about other people’s feedback, and if he/she is referred by a friend I trust, then I’m even more prone to choose that particular doctor. I’ve never thought of interviewing one before, but I wouldn’t rule out that idea. That’s an excellent way to see if that doctor would be approachable and accessible — two things that are important to me. Great suggestion! Always learn something new from you 🙂 Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just saw the comedian Steven Wright last night. I love the way he can take a sentence and create an idea on a level far above anything my mind would typically come up with. He makes me think fast and hard while laughing non stop! I like to take this concept and apply it to experiences in life that may stimulate new thoughts and approaches to viewing health and components associated with health. Most people don’t think to establish relations with Specialists prior to needing their intervention. When asking the question, “why not?,” the typical response was, “I never thought about it.” I’m not arrogant enough to believe I have all the answers, but if I can simply pose a question, people’s reactions and responses may produce better outcomes. I simply enjoy being part of a process that potentially can lead to positive change. Thank you for your comment. It is the type of response that might have others thinking, “hmm, maybe this wouldn’t be a bad idea to try?” Thank you(as always.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. love your posts…kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kat. Always appreciate your comments.

      Like

      1. how are you doing??? hows your father???

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Everyone is making the adjustments needed to move forward with life. Thank you so much for asking

          Like

  4. I did interview physicians to find the right pediatrician for my children but did not for myself! Hmmm. When we moved here I think we had the worst doctor- no two others just came to mind! Thankfully, the next one I chose (randomly:() was GREAT and I have been with her for years now! I also, nailed it with my ob-gyn (sort-a random there too:() Yikes:/ Great blog post! We definitely need to stay in the drivers seat regarding our healthcare and not just allow such an important choice to be RANDOM! Doing so before a sickness or malady occurs is wise. Thanks! Light and Love, Shona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people have responded by saying the idea makes a lot of sense. My concern is that this is exactly what they say about changing unhealthy habits to healthy ones. I hope if people find the idea appealing, they ACT ON IT. People need to realize the motive behind these ideas is one directional. I will not benefit if they choose to act, but there quality of life can be dramatically affected if they don’t. Heart disease is the #2 killer in the USA. How many people do you think have a cardiologist in their arsenal of physicians?
      Thank you as always for sharing your comments. Your energy is invigorating!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you will be happy to know that yesterday I picked up my phone and TOOK ACTION! Keep blessing us all with your knowledge, passion and inspiration! As well, Thank you for compliment. Those particular words mean a lot to me. Light and Love, Shona

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Success comes to those willing to open the door AND WALK ON THROUGH to consume the opportunities that await. I am proud of you for choosing this path. I believe you will find all that you seek in life (including wonderful new professional relationships in the healthcare field.) You are setting a wonderful example for your family.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Awww man. It would be super cool to have a pocket sized you to carry around your words of inspiration and encouragement to fuel my fire on a daily basis! Oh wait, I do-my phone! Thanks Steve Jobs! And Dr. Jonathan of course! 🙂 Light and Love, Shona

            Liked by 1 person

  5. The hardest thing about health care in Canada is our wait times. I could give a pretty long list of what’s wrong with health care in Canada, but we’ll leave it there for the purposes of this response. Many people don’t even have a family doctor, so specialists are even harder to come by.

    I will give you a couple of personal examples. I have eczema, which can get pretty bad at times. My GP referred me to a derm and the wait time was 8 months. By the time the appointment rolled around, my eczema had cleared up for the season. Of course someone with skin cancer should get in before me, but 8 months is crazy (and quite common).

    Currently I am waiting to meet with a gyno and the wait time is a little less at 7 months. By the time you get to the specialist for preventative care, it can be too late! GPs can “rush” you in but that only happens if they determine a condition is life threatening. Otherwise, you better hurry up and wait or else drive over to the States and pay.

    As much as I’d like to be choosy about specialists, I’m just happy to finally see one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very understandable. I have to admit I’m not well versed in healthcare systems outside the United States. The emphasis, however, was intended to recommend we not wait until an emergency arises before attempting to find a Specialist. I also recommend we due our due diligence to find a Specialist that offers the care and service required of the individual. Results are certainly important, but the business of doctoring is more than just knowledge and skill. It is also about gaining a patient’s trust resulting in higher levels of patient compliance. This is not taught in medical school. It comes from within the doctor’s heart and soul.

      Liked by 1 person

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