THE PRACTICE OF ADVERSARIAL MEDICINE

“NEVER TRUST YOUR PATIENTS, THEY ALWAYS LIE TO DOCTORS.”  House, M.D., played by Hugh Laurie

Of all forms of medicine, the most destructive is what is known to me as Adversarial Medicine. The doctor meets the patient for the first time, shakes his or her hand, asks, “What can I do for you?”, then proceeds to aggressively challenge what the patient says, calls their symptoms silly, and/or does a cursory physical exam while not paying attention to the patient at all. If a parent and child are involved the parent may be marginalized completely by sneering references to their assertions about the child. And Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy almost always rears it’s ugly head.

The Hippocratic Oath, “First Do No Harm”, is regularly trampled by doctors who truly do believe their patients and parents regularly lie to them.

I am going to begin a series of posts which are highly personal in nature, having to do with an illness which has afflicted my family for at least five generations. My grandmother Aina Jarvi, came to the United States from the Karelia Region which belonged to either Finland or Russia, depending on the last war fought. She brought with her genetic disorders which followed through to my father, Henry, his three half-sisters, then to me and at least one brother, then on to my two daughters and one son, and now one of my grandsons.

It has been a long journey discovering all of the permutations of these conditions, and a large part of that journey has been discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the American medical establishment.

Americans tend to think in terms of our “great” doctors and medical system. We think all doctors are intelligent, caring, kind, and self-sacrificing, and many of them are just that. But many are mediocre at best, and some of them are horrible. Depending upon your need, it might be just the luck of the draw which you will get.

I don’t wish to come across as pessimistic about the future, but even without the specter of ObamaCare hanging over our heads, many changes need to be made in what passes for medical care in many facilities.

I will start this story tomorrow writing of my father and what I know of my grandmother. I hope to be hopeful.

LATER. RETHINKING THE MATTER: I wrote several posts on my family’s medical experiences, however I have now decided not to put them out, at least for now. Instead I will be pursuing my critique of the medical profession as it exists at the onset of ObamaCare. One of my daughter’s main doctors told me a few years ago that the doctors being trained are, for the most part, not very good, and that we will look back soon and realize that the “golden age” of American medicine has passed. I think he is right.

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