The general physician walked into the radiology department along with a middle aged woman and a couple of worried looking men. The woman was taken inside the CT scan room for coronary CT angiogram. The lady was made to prepare for the test the day before and it hardly took few seconds. She walked out after the test concerned and intimidated.
The woman, fifty plus something, had non-alarming parameters of cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes levels. However, what was alarming was her approach towards life. She was gullible to fears. So, with a week old history of chest discomfort, dizziness and aches and pains, she went to the nearest clinic to get herself diagnosed. The EKG was normal and the Echocardiogram showed average heart function. The pathology parameters were little on the higher thresholds but nothing that would require invasive treatment.
However, she was not satisfied with the results and went to see another consultant. The doctor knew what exactly she wanted. He advised her CT angiogram.
The doctor instead of guiding the patient through the holistic steps of living magnified her symptoms. It was easier since the lady had low threshold of pains. She loved being the centre of attraction. She had phases of attention seeking disorder before. Obviously, she loved every bit of the ordeal.
Two days later, the husband met the doctor with the CT angio report. The report showed minor block in one of the arteries with moderate calcium score. The doctor scribbled a page full of cardio active medicines and told her that missing a dose might cut short her lifespan. The lady now became a patient in the true sense of the term.
Doctors creating more patients
This is one of many such instances all over the globe. Technology and knowledge have made our living easy and fast. No doubts about the immense benefit we are getting from the advances in medical technologies. The more advanced the technology is getting, the more unscrupulous some of the doctors are becoming. They are creating more patients by being insanely random, repetitive and intimidating. Lack of expertise, shallow attitude and immoral practices is ruling the healthcare industry. The commercial aspects of the hospitals and the lures of the pharmaceutical companies are dominating the noble profession. The net result, the common people are suffering.
Some patients like being the centre of attraction, some seek attention and some are too much intimidated by the future possibilities. The doctors materialize these aspects and eventually successfully create patients out of average people.
The responsibility lies in us
We should take charge of our lives and the responsibility lies in each of us. We need to be eager, aware and informed. We need to ask the doctor a few questions before the examination.
How important the test is for the diagnosis?
Why should you I do the test?
What are the benefits?
What are the risks?
What is the cost of the whole procedure?
Even though the urgency and the immediate need of the procedure can only be decided by the consultants, who will know the degree and the importance of the procedure, we have the right to ask. The doctors have a responsibility of telling the patients of the options and the risks after having understood all the parameters including the patients’ history and experiences. Moreover, they should be transparent with the patient about the complete procedure they intend to undertake and not just plan things that suit them, without the patients’ knowledge.
Holistic approach towards urban symptoms
The urban symptoms like discomfort, aches and pains all over the body, indigestion, muscular cramps, visceral adiposity, heaviness, dizziness, tiredness, supratentorial symptoms can be treated by modifying our lifestyles. Eating in moderation and eating right, doing exercises, walking, swimming, pursuing a hobby and seeking things that make us happy can actually help us cope with the stress related symptoms. What we need is a holistic approach towards health and wellness. It’s not just about treating the disease but also about incorporating prevention as a measure to improve the quality of life.