When technology is improving every day, how do we go backwards in medicine?
I recently questioned how it is possible that a country that once ranked number one in the world in healthcare has declined to a country that ranks last in the world of healthcare among industrialized countries.
We know our American technology is probably adequate and improving on a daily basis. What is going downhill? It must be the professionals using our technology.
I was seen at the University of Minnesota quite some time ago by a young internist by the name of Jacqueline Cox, MD. I am sorry to say this occurred in my home state of Minnesota where I was once a University of Minnesota medicine instructor, supposedly the number one rated state in medicine in the United States. I was in the department of medicine complaining of severe chest pain, nausea, and markedly diaphoretic (sweating profusely). These are all classic signs of an acute coronary, which should be high on the diagnostic list of a lifelong hypertensive diabetic.
Dr. Jacqueline Cox did not listen to my heart or chest. She did order an echocardiogram. That was her way of caring for someone with a very probable acute coronary syndrome. In spite of Dr. Cox, I survived, no thanks to Dr. Jacqueline Cox. Prior to all the technology, a patient would have received a complete medical exam and at least an EKG. Soiling your hands on a sweaty patient are in the days gone by. Why get your hands dirty if you can order a test without even touching your patient?
If this is the care one of their very own receives, can you imagine the care of the person off the street. In this case the patient survived in spite of the lack of care given by that physician. Of course, it would not be many days later that a bill arrived. I promptly told them of the care I had received and told them what they could do with their bill.
As you would expect, I never heard from them. Their golden girl was moving on to a residency or position at the University of Washington. I never have heard of her again, but if she has continued to practice medicine with the same self-confidence and aplomb, I am sure she probably gets her share of Christmas cards from the local mortuaries.
God bless all of you.
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