Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why Can't I Just E-Mail My Doctor?

I'm sick of doctors. I've been sick of doctors for a long time, but I'm at a particular low right now. For the zero of you who don't know, I've been suffering from hives since the end of July. My doctors have run zero tests to uncover the root cause, unless you count the blood test my primary care physician ran to see if I had an underlying infection when I complained of stomach pain (turns out I did, but it wasn't the root cause of the hives and it wasn't caught by the blood test). I don't want to visit specialists, one by one, as the back story for this little saga becomes more and more convoluted. I'm going to the dermatologist tomorrow, and I have a 3 page timeline, with an executive summary, a list of medicines I'm currently taking, a list of medications I've taken since just before this all started, and a list of current symptoms (as opposed to the ones that I had at one point, but don't anymore). The dermatologist is doctor #4, after PCP, allergist, and gastrointestinal doctor. I've also seen an acupuncturist because the "real" doctors weren't helping. That didn't help, either.

They say the cost of medical care is so high because doctors run too many tests. Where? Who? Point me that way! If my doctors are just going to dismiss my symptoms entirely or pump me full of drugs, I don't see why I have to go in to see them at all. Can't I just e-mail them with a list of symptoms to selectively ignore (does not compute, deleting from memory) or treat (I think there's a drug for that one; let's prescribe it!)? If they aren't going to run a test and my symptoms aren't necessarily present while I'm at the doctor's office (stupid erratic problems!), I'm not really sure why I have to be present. And with e-mail, if the doctor is baffled, he can just forward it to the next doctor, instead of forwarding ME to the next doctor. Screw HIPPA. All it does is create more forms for me to fill out and put up more barriers between my doctors.

I wonder if a flexible spending account would cover the cost of an annual fee for a concierge doctor.


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