“A great doc, but you didn’t hear it from me”

Our medical system is seriously fucked up.  I’m sure this isn’t news to you (and if it is, you can start learning about it here and here.)  Now, I know that some parts of it work well.  I used my new health insurance for the first time today, and that was great.  But in so many other ways, it just doesn’t make any sense at all.

What do you think is the point of healthcare?  Personally, I think it is to maintain good health, and to achieve improved health when needed.  Unfortunately, healthcare here is a business, so to the people in control, it’s about making money.

I saw my rheumatologist today, and of course at one point we talked about how I need a new endocrinologist since my old one dumped me.  He didn’t like that I require so many expensive tests, so much effort, and so much insurance-related paperwork.  I asked my rheumatologist for her advice.  She confided in me that there were a few in her hospital system that I should stay away from, and she asked me not to tell anyone that she’d said that.  Ok, I get that.  She shouldn’t bad-mouth colleagues.  No problem.  I would never say a word.  No one should bad-mouth a colleague – it’s bad etiquette – but when it’s a matter of someone’s health, it’s worth it.  All good, right?

But then she considered things, and finally told me about a center at another hospital that specializes in thyroid work, which is what I need.  She said multiple times “but you didn’t hear it from me,” and I assured her that I would never let on.  If I thought that writing this would in any way haunt her, I’d never write a word of it.  The last thing I want is to hurt someone who has fought on my behalf many times, helped me immensely, and gone above and beyond.

So here’s why I’m upset: why should a doctor get in trouble for telling a patient about a treatment center that could help them?!?  Think about that.  She would get in trouble because she suggested that I go to a different hospital.  She is not telling me that her hospital sucks.  She is not telling me to leave her practice.  She is not treating me badly. On the contrary, her primary concern is my health, and for that reason she is suggesting that I see the practitioners who are most likely to help me improve my health.  Once again, her focus is on my health!

And that’s why our system is completely fucked up.  Because a doctor can get in trouble for helping a patient improve their health, if it means sending the patient (and therefore the patient’s money) to another center.  Wrong wrong wrong.

So while we’re at it, PLEASE let me know if you can recommend a good endocrinologist in the Boston area.  I will consider my rheumatologist’s suggestion, but I don’t know yet if that place will offer what I need, or if they’re taking new patients.  Please send any and all suggestions.  I need someone who does thyroid work, especially Hashimoto’s.  Thanks!

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