Reflections: Only doctors can bury their mistakes

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By Thomas W. Ivines

My wife and I were talking about our doctors and how they have changed over the years. For one, they no longer make house calls. You're lucky if you can even get an appointment in a doctor's office nowadays.

Doctors are so busy they only take clients by referral. If they're full up,you can't even get an appointment with a referral. My wife's doctor has so many clients he doesn't even know her. He has to look her last visit up on his computer to know what happened the last time she was there.

When you make an appointment with your doctor, you are often surprised to find two other people waiting in the office at the same time. How do they do that? Do they schedule more than one patient for the same time?

Doctors rush clients through their offices so fast, it's no wonder they do not know them... the almighty buck, I think. The more clients they can funnel through in one day, the more money they can make. It makes me feel real warm and fuzzy inside, knowing I'm more of a moneymaking object than a patient.

And, most doctors are the same. No matter what medical problem you have, after a few minutes of talking, prodding, and poking, you are sent on your way with a prescription. If not that, then a referral to another doctor is given, usually to a specialist.

Just hope he or she is not over patient quota, or you will be passed on to another doctor, sort of like musical chairs.

Talking about prescriptions, that's another problem. You have to be careful, because if you are under the care of more than one doctor, you can get two drugs that interact and cause you serious trouble.

I just recently found out the antacid prescribed by one of my doctors cancelled out the effects of the antibiotic prescribed by another. The consequences can be even worse and could kill you.

A good friend of mine recently lost his brother to an interaction between prescription drugs. Even a simple thing like drinking grapefruit juice can have a serious side effect on the drugs you are taking... Well, you can't blame that on your doctor but he or she should at least warn you.

The trouble is one doctor does not always know what the other is prescribing, and that's where the problem lies.Well, anyway, it is a changing world and you have to look out for yourself. A little common sense goes a long way. Don't be afraid to ask your doctors questions and make sure you let each of them know what the other is doing or prescribing, otherwise they may only find out when they sign your death certificate.

Yes, your doctor can kill you, and they are the only ones who can bury their mistakes.