Why Have A Consult?20 November, 2015
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WHY HAVE A CONSULTATION? 

I've been doing some doctoring lately. I had a knee joint replaced, so, a long time of pain and dysfunction, decision for surgery and some months of recovery with physical therapy. It has been wonderful! Everything went perfectly and I can dance again! But, the experience has reminded me what it is like to be a patient.

As I attended many appointments, saw not-doctors when I thought I'd be seeing my chosen MD, even had assessment and treatment suggestions offered by receptionist staff, I had many opportunities to wonder, what if I didn't know what I know? How do non-health care professionals get the information they need, assimilate the foreign details in order to give truly informed consent, and make sense of the recovery process?

Every one of the folks shepherding me through the process has been skilled and sincerely doing their best to be helpful. And, there was never a realistic opportunity for any teaching, or for any learning. There are reams of printed patient hand outs to read at home, of course. I noted that when I would ask a question that required expanding beyond what was available in the handouts, the medical staff were stumped. Including my surgeon.

Not, I am certain, because they didn't have more information in their heads- they are all extremely well educated and competent. But it was really clear that they are speaking from scripts, and going off-script just throws them and their TIME frame off. I can see where, in their scripts, there is a sincere attempt to demonstrate a more holistic concern for patient well being- there is nutrition advice, reminders to de-stress, and get appropriate exercise. But, profit requires efficiency, and efficiency requires stream-lining, and stream-lining slices away every irregularity, every difference, every unique aspect of an individual's circumstance that would require a personalized interaction.

We are no longer mystified by PCOS. Treatment options have become standardized and most women no longer encounter blank looks and vague dismissals from their primary care providers. It's great that we can find doctors who are familiar with AND who feel supported by the rest of the medical community (because that's very important to most licensed professionals, that they are practicing within the bounds defined by their community) to treat PCOS.

But no professional functioning within the current system, needing to extract extraordinary profits from each patient encounter, is able to offer the time it takes to exquisitely examine, understand and provide support for YOUR unique circumstance. Sometimes we need information, education and support to make and maintain behavior changes, much more than we need another prescription drug. Individualized treatment is a luxury we do not provide each other in our current system for providing health care.

If you are looking for an experienced professional accustomed to listening carefully, examining deeply and offering explanation and multiple treatment options for you to choose from among, consider a consultation with me.

 

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