Category: Doctors

How you can avoid medical errors

How you can avoid medical errors
Johns Hopkins estimates that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. My mom died as a result of a “laparoscopic cholecystectomy.” Removing the gall bladder before 1988 required a large incision, a multiple day hospital stay, and a six-week recovery. The scope form of the surgery, introduced in 1988, was... Read more »

We’ve got to stop calling doctor-patient communication “bedside manner”

We’ve got to stop calling doctor-patient communication “bedside manner”
To my ears, “bedside manner” sounds patronizing. It involves a kindly, elderly doctor sitting at your bedside, holding your hand and telling you everything’s going to be fine in a soothing voice. Marcus Welby, M.D. comes to mind. When I hear people say that a doctor doesn’t have a good bedside manner, I wonder what... Read more »

My doctor fired me because I wrote him this letter

I went for a regular mammogram last week. On Monday evening the results were posted on the main portal for the Advocate system. The report said there was an indistinct 7mm oval mass. I now need a diagnostic ultrasound. On Tuesday morning I called my doctor at 6:45 a.m. It turned out that he was... Read more »
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Waiting for the call back is hell: doctors’ offices need to improve their communication strategies

Here’s the deal, doctor. You called me. I didn’t call you. More precisely, one of your employees called me. Here’s the message he left on my voice mail. “We just got the results of your blood work and would like to talk to you about it. Nothing life threatening, but please call us back.” The... Read more »

Feeding my doctors: why I cook for my caregivers

Feeding my doctors: why I cook for my caregivers
The scariest time of my life was when we discovered that our daughter had to have back surgery to correct scoliosis. She was in surgery for six hours and she spent a day in the ICU. Her doc was a quiet man, not exactly warm, but not cold either. He was patient and low key.... Read more »

A peek behind the curtain: pathologists are the most important doctors you'll never meet

A peek behind the curtain: pathologists are the most important doctors you'll never meet
An amazing number of people work together to diagnose, treat, and monitor a person with cancer. You’ll never meet most of them: from the lab techs to the engineers who keep the MRIs and CTs and PETs regulated and in good working order, from the radiologists who interpret the results of those scans to the... Read more »
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Don’t use Yelp and Healthgrades to choose your doctor: do this instead

Don’t use Yelp and Healthgrades to choose your doctor: do this instead
Right after I was diagnosed with cancer, I started digging into research about my doctor. I initially met him through the arbitrary process of being admitted to the hospital via the ER of my local hospital. He was on call that Monday evening. This is no way to choose a doctor, especially when you’re facing... Read more »

What the eye cannot see, turning fear into gratitude

What the eye cannot see, turning fear into gratitude
We are a species that trusts what we see. I remember this every time I walk my dog. Sight is important to this creature, too. I love it when he stops to watch the garbage trucks. He stands still and stares, watching every move. But Freddie’s dominant sense is smell. He has been diving muzzle... Read more »

Resolution Chronicles: learning to trust my doctor and accept my insurance company

Resolution Chronicles: learning to trust my doctor and accept my insurance company
My insurance company, pharmacy, my doctor and I have to work together to get prescriptions filled. If the system breaks down, I will suffer the consequences. It’s not personal when the system breaks down, but it affects me personally. Last month I had to pay out of pocket for five pills of a prescription because... Read more »
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When doctors do hurtful things: losing my temper after it's all over

When doctors do hurtful things: losing my temper after it's all over
Tonight is ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour! Our challenge is to publish a post in one hour. Our community manager throws out a topic at 9 and we have to post by 10. This is tonight’s topic: “Write about a time you lost your temper or somebody lost their temper at you” I have a wicked tongue and the soul of... Read more »