A more realistic approach to medicine

@savypat (20248)
United States
August 18, 2012 11:17am CST
We are elderly, Hubby is close to 80 and I'm 6 years behind him. So what happened to us yesterday when we met with the heart doctor was refreshing. Hubby had a 5 part bypass about 25 years ago and so the heart doctor has been a part of our life ever since that time. We were there for the yearly check up and as the doctor reviewed Hubby's case he asked many questions about his quality of life. Then he said it's been 10 years since your last stress test, but I am not going to ask you to go through this, because at your age if I found a problem it would be very unlikely I could do anything to help you, and since you are doing well so far I see no reason to put you through this. What a turn around. A doctor that is considering the person's quality of life rather then ordering another expensive test just to boost his bottom line. Have we just grown to old, and are now considered past anything except being made a comfortable as possible until we die? Or has the attitude of doctors finally turned around and expensive stressful tests that really serve no purpose become the new reality? After having just gone through over 10,000 dollars of such tests, all of only showed how healthy I was. Maybe it's just this heart doctor who has changed his practise of medicine.
2 people like this
10 responses
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
18 Aug 12
Three cheers for the Dr. and for you guys! Years ago, when I had pneumonia, a Dr. wanted to send me to the hospital for x-rays to see if I had pneumonia. I said, "You just told me I had pneumonia." He said, "Well yes, I just used a stethoscope to clinically diagnose you. But I want to be sure. " I said, "I'm sure you're right." He replied, "But what if I'm wrong?" "Then this medicine won't help and I'll be back." He was right and I was fine after the medicine took ahold in a few days. I hate the fact that people with broken ribs get x-rays with people who have pneumonia where I live. If I had broken ribs and sat in a waiting room with people who had pneumonia, I'd want to clobber a lot of people. Esp. if after having broken ribs, I hot pneumonia on top of it. What are they thinkinbg? At least have separate waiting rooms for people who are infectious and people with broken bones. I try to talk Drs. out of tests. Often they aren't needed and cause more problems than they solve. Let's hope it's a trend toward more intelligent medicine. The cancer Drs. seem to be putting people thru less unneccessary stuff. So I think it is a trend.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I think it's great that he is considering more than just ordering the test. I don't like the statement about finding something wrong and the treatment factor though. I would love to find a doctor that didn't want to suck my insurance dry. Every time I go to the doctor...even for a physical...it seems they would like to do this test or that. If it was going to help me..sure..but sometimes they are ridiculous. I have had a stress test done and it is no cup of tea. I thought I was going to fly off the back of that treadmill at one point.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31187)
• United States
19 Aug 12
They do that because they're afraid of malpractice suits. Many patients will sue a doctor if he or she fails to order a test and they later develop that disease or condition. Our litigiousness is a big part of what has driven health care costs and insurance so high. But I agree with you, so many tests are ridiculous.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
20 Aug 12
That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that but there are people out there that just looking for reasons to pop someone with a lawsuit.
1 person likes this
@roshigo58 (4871)
• Pune, India
22 Aug 12
Hi, your doctor is very nice. He is not forcing you to do the tests. These tests are very troublesome in old age. Take care.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
21 Aug 12
Hi savypat, I hope it isn't that they consider you too old, but I've heard that comment made about elderly people and doctors before. I don't think that all doctors think that way and I do believe that some are becoming more concerned about quality of life. I've had the same family doctor for some 35 years now and he is 66 himself. I always feel comfortable with him. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36608)
• United States
21 Aug 12
Though I do believe that this kind of thing is the exception to the norm as opposed to being the norm, I do think that there are many doctors that are changing their approach. The example that I have is in my husband's every six months tests to check him for cancer. There are many doctors that recommend doing PET scans every six months for five years, but his oncologist said that CT scans will suffice and they are much more economical than PET scans twice a year.
1 person likes this
@Raine38 (8909)
• United States
19 Aug 12
We could use more doctors like him. I hope his calibre isn't of a dying breed. Sometimes, we even went as far as fearing the doctors or scared to go in even if we feel bad already because of not so good encounters with them.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (87682)
• Marion, Kansas
18 Aug 12
It does sound like a refreshing change to me. If your husband was not doing well it might be a different story, but if it is not giving him any problems he is probably better off as is. Skip those tests.
@namiya (1599)
• Philippines
18 Aug 12
there are still a lot of doctors who are not only after what you could put into their pockets. the doctor of a neighbor diagnosed with a cyst in the ovary did not recommend an immediate operation that will cost a considerable sum to her but instead advised her to take an alternative medicine (a food supplement known to cure cyst) for 6 months (and he is not selling the product, the patient bought it from a source referred by her sister)and then return to him for check up after 6 months. The herbal food supplement did help and our neighbor was no longer operated. there are also doctors here in our country who go on medical missions to served depressed areas and they do these without any fee.
• United States
18 Aug 12
What a refreshing type of doctor. More often than not, that want to run you through all kinds of tests. I have found out, no matter what age the patient, baby to senior, if you have good insurance the doctor wants a piece of it. There are needed tests and there are also tests that may be needed or may be not. Sounds like you have the right kind of doctor.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (26298)
• United States
15 Sep 12
That is a refreshing change. I like it when the doctor works with you instead of against you. I know doing a stress test at your husbands age could be difficult. I have had a few of them and passed. Although I am only 50. I was diagnosed with diabetes in the late 90's and have been taken care of it with diet. No meds yet. Nice!!! So I was ordered to take a few stress tests. But thats like the old adage, if its not broke, don't fix it.