The doctors we criticize


#1

I’ve done it and I bet a large percentage have done it. I see often here on our site people that are more than willing to soundly criticize their medical professionals, after all doctors are not perfect.

That being said they are the best thing that we have going for us, they are the ones with the learning and experience to prolong our lives. Why am I here singing the praises of doctors, I’m sure you have guessed by now that my life has recently been significantly impacted by the diligence of a member of my medical team.

I am talking about the nurse practitioner at my GP’s office, by going beyond what I would consider the status quo she put into motion a chain of events that identified a growing health problem, a problem that had not yet exhibited any symptoms. I now have a chance to delay or even stop the progress of a serious diabetic complication.

I hope that I will never again fall in with the complaining crowd, If I do will someone be kind enough to tell me to sit down and shut up, because good medical professionals deserve better than the treatment they sometimes receive here.


#2

I would not be here today (several times over) if not for doctors and modern medicine. I’m grateful every day for the people who chose healthcare as their profession (and, more often than not, made huge sacrifices to pursue). I think doctors deserve a lot more appreciation than they get.


#3

Particularly on this forum


#4

Thanks, Gary, I am often unhappy by the verbal abuse of doctors on this site. Doctors have literally saved my life many times. Indeed I was critically ill this year. My husband taught at two different medical universities. Our son is a medical doctor (internist). I am so proud of them both!


#5

Gary, Jen, Sam, and Trudy: you all have no idea just how very much it means to me personally to read your kind words (and I’m sure it also means a great deal to any other physicians and other medical personnel who frequent this site). With health insurance companies and Big Pharma essentially running how medicine is practiced in the U.S., we doctors are more and more often painfully lodged between a rock and a hard place when we try to do the right thing by our patients…


#6

As much as I have complained about doctors, I do realize we’re better off with them. I will be forever grateful to the young primary care doc that gave me a correct diagnosis of T1D even though I presented at the non-juvenile age of 30.

Thanks for the reminder, @Stemwinder_Gary.


#7

forever grateful to my AWESOME GP, who diagnosed me as a T1 at the age of 36. in Spain we are on socialised medicine, so everyone in my housing development is assigned to her (you can change to another doc if you want). some people call her la doctora house, because she is so blunt, but she has been great taking care of me. she always makes time for any questions or doubts i have and values my knowledge as well as her own. i recently moved house and could go to the surgery across the street from me but there is no way im leaving her!


#8

I’m glad you got good care from your medical team Gary. I wish everyone had such an experience every time they visited their doctor.


#9

If it weren’t for a certain particular doctor (actually a pair of them), I would not know I have diabetes. Pretty difficult to mitigate something as black and white as that.


#10

[quote=“Stemwinder_Gary, post:1, topic:56472, full:true”]I hope that I will never again fall in with the complaining crowd, If I do will someone be kind enough to tell me to sit down and shut up, because good medical professionals deserve better than the treatment they sometimes receive here.
[/quote]

My father, now retired, is an Internist. Because of this, I saw this issue from the other side my entire life.

I’ve often felt very lonely here pleading for some more reasonable consideration when it comes to doctors and other medical professionals. They’re not magic, they’re not superhuman, they’re simply people, just like us, with expertise in a certain field trying to do a job.

And unlike most jobs, it’s oriented toward helping others.

Medical science is, perhaps, one of the most INEXACT. We expect “sciency” results from health care (like engineering), when such precision and predictability is simply unrealistic.

We have become so used to the miracles of modern medicine we have lost sight of just how amazing health care is today compared to what raw nature has in store for us. 100 years ago (maybe a bit more, don’t hold me to exact figures on this) T1 diabetes was a death sentence.

Now look at the things we complain about as “unacceptable”.


#11

You’re exactly right. Banting and Best first administered insulin to a human patient in the early 1920s. So yes, 100 years ago a T1 was basically . . . toast. Worth being reminded of now and again.


#12

[quote=“David_dns, post:11, topic:56472, full:true”]
You’re exactly right. Banting and Best first administered insulin to a human patient in the early 1920s. So yes, 100 years ago a T1 was bascially . . . toast. Worth being reminded of now and again.
[/quote]Do you know, was that porcine insulin? If so, was it because it was known to be biosimilar to human insulin, and last, how the heck did they know that?

100 years ago seems so scientifically primitive to me… I’m always curious about how they knew things like this back then, as we didn’t have any of the tools, and little chemical knowledge, about these molecules.

Heck, we didn’t even know about DNA, protein synthesis, etc. back then.


#13

Compared to today, it was utterly primitive.

They removed the pancreases of dogs, extracted a “substance” from the pancreases of butchered animals, and then injected it into the dogs with no pancreases and discovered that it lowered their blood sugar (and kept them alive for a time). Then they purified it enough that it didn’t cause reactions that killed the dogs. The first experiment on a human was actually a failure—the patient (a 14-year-old boy in DKA) developed an abscess because the insulin wasn’t pure enough. But they managed to purify it enough that the next attempt was successful, and that boy lived for another 13 years, I believe.

There are some great books about this topic, including The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss, Breakthrough by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg, The Fight to Survive by Caroline Cox (this is more about Elizabeth Hughes’ struggle to stay alive with Type 1 before insulin), and Bittersweet by Chris Feudtner (this is a broader history of diabetes than just the discovery of insulin).


#14

[quote=“Jen, post:13, topic:56472, full:true”]There are some great books about this topic, including The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss, Breakthrough by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg, The Fight to Survive by Caroline Cox (this is more about Elizabeth Hughes’ struggle to stay alive with Type 1 before insulin), and Bittersweet by Chris Feudtner (this is a broader history of diabetes than just the discovery of insulin).
[/quote]Thanks Jen! I’m fascinated by this, and will take a look at that reading list. :+1:


#15

I think sometimes we forget that we can’t lump everyone together. There are good police officers and there are some bad ones. There are good teachers and there are some bad ones. There are good grocery store clerks and there are some bad ones. Over my 46 years I had one bad doctor but oh so many really really good ones. I thank god everyday for the medical professionals who help keep me alive and healthy. This is just like one treatment doesn’t fit every person with diabetes.


#16

Absolutely correct. There is a bell curve in every profession: terrific and awful at the ends, and the great middle. What really frosts me is when a profession — and the medical professions are just like the others in this respect, too — closes ranks and tries to deny or discount the existence of bad apples. As you say, every occupation has them. It’s the pretense that lights my fuse.


#17

For the most part, my doctors have been very good - they’ve had their flaws, but each has helped me along the way to one degree or another. The doctor that I first saw suspected diabetes because of an infection I had. Turned out, the infection was a rather typical staph infection, but his gut feeling was nevertheless correct. I was completely asymptomatic at the time, so I would not have been tested for diabetes otherwise, so this helped me. My PCP was aggressive with treatment, and when orals and I didn’t do well together, got me quickly on insulin and a referral to an “urgent” endocrinologist.
Though I did not get along totally with my first endo, he did get me on Dexcom and encouraged my preference for tight control. Finally, my current endo got me on a pump with improved control without lows, and is very open-minded to treatment “experiments” - many of which have turned out quite good.

So all-in-all, I’ve had good doctors, if not always good relationships with all of them.


#18

And to be fair, I have had no poor doctors and a few very very good ones. My current one is a gem. That broadly positive experience makes it all the more jarring when I read some of the things that other people’s doctors have said or done, sometimes.


#19

You make a point there are some bad doctors but I would have to guess they are far outnumbered by the good and the great ones. The bad ones do get more attention, after all no one complains when they are treated well.

That’s the point of this topic I wanted to praise the good ones for a change.


#20

Oh, it’s certainly human nature to take the good for granted and make lots of noise about the bad. Take, for example, an airline ticket counter at Christmas. No one is in that line because they’re happy. :sunglasses: