Does your doctor use a computer in the exam room? Some people think that computers are a great way to keep track of patient information.   Others see some advantage, but problems in the implementation.  There are also a few Luddites who oppose this change simply on principle.   I’ve had good experiences, and bad experiences, and believe we have a long way to go before computers are as helpful as they could be. There ...

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People who regularly take medicine should know what we’re taking.  To me, this seems obvious, but there are always those who need everything stated explicitly.  People taking prescriptions, vitamins, herbs, and any other treatments should know what’s being taken and why. It’s pretty easy to make yourself a list and stick it in your wallet so that it’s always available.  If you need medical assistance (for instance, if you’re in a ...

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I am utterly sick of the myth that living a healthy lifestyle will prevent illness.

  • Granted, eating a balanced diet of nutritious food is better than grazing on ice cream and bon-bons all day.
  • Getting regular exercise has distinct health benefits; moving as little as possible has a detrimental impact on people’s health.
  • Is there anyone who isn’t aware of the health ramifications of smoking?
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is another no-no.
The story goes ...

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Compliance.  I really hate that word!  The general impression given throughout the blogosphere is that patients:

  1. don’t take their medicine
  2. prevaricate
A few typical quotes:
  • Comp-LIE-ance:  ”There are only 2 settings where compliance actually takes place; controlled substances and patients with high copays/no free ride.
  • On Your Own With Multiple Meds:  “Even though people ‘know’ they should take their pills as directed, for the most part, they ...

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"Do you know a good doctor?" is a question tossed around in conversation sometimes.  If the person is reasonably nice/intelligent, I’m happy to hand out my doctor’s name and phone number. Recently, I referred more friends to my all-time favorite doctor.  Instead of just taking his name and phone number, the couple wanted to know why I like him.  That’s a fair enough ...

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I’m thankful that I don’t have to research symptoms on the internet, diagnose myself, and come up with my own treatment.  All I have to do is go to my doctor and describe my symptoms.  My doctor can listen to my symptoms, match them up to what he knows, ask questions to pinpoint what might be going on, order appropriate tests, and recommend a treatment plan. Odds are, when people get ...

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Side effects.  Every medication has them.  Some are mild, some are annoying, and some are downright dangerous. When doctors write a prescription, they mention that some people experience side effects, and if certain bizarre things happen, the patient should phone the doctor. How do we keep track? If you get one antibiotic to take for two weeks, it isn’t so hard.  First, because it’s for a short time period, and also because it’s ...

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It just shouldn’t be hard to get a refill on the medicines I’m taking:

  • phone the pharmacy to refill prescriptions
  • show up the next day to pick up refills
  • pay
Simple, right? Note that this is about my old pharmacy, not the new one.  For quite a while the pharmacy had been having difficulties, which is why I never trust the pharmacy.  Between the distance and the frustrations I had dealing with them, ...

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If doctors need to listen to patients to figure out what’s going on, patients need to tell doctors what’s going on.  Why is that so hard sometimes?  It’s hard to speak up when you feel rushed, but have doctors ever done other things that made it harder for me to talk to them? Sometimes doctors blame the patient Years ago I got a terrible abdominal pain.  I could only explain that it felt like ...

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Are healthy people patients?  Sometimes I wonder. If you’re healthy, you rarely see a doctor.  If you go for a “routine” checkup every five years, you just aren’t very affected by the system.  You might not even know what the system is.  Your health insurance premium is deducted from your paycheck, so you never really see that money -- not the way you would if you had to write a check in that ...

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