A primary care doctor or a local practitioner basically acts as a guide for patients to suggest to them better specialists consult.
A New York based sports journalist, named Alistair says, “I still do not really understand what is going on with the health system, and I have been here nearly five years”. It is only now, that he has finally understood all that he needs to know about insurance policies and systems.
Alistair has become quite cautious of the physician’s plans because he never had to go through the hassles of paying medical bills for any sort of treatment before. Just recently he came across a dermatologist who was checking up a mole and suggested that it requires surgery for its removal. Thankfully, he had a friend from Australia talk him out of it. He assured that over there, all they had to do was scrape it off and that the suggested surgery was only to charge him a hefty amount. Alistair tells us that an individual is always suspicious about over-treatment here now.
Of course, not every practitioner is abusing their expertise by prescribing expensive medication or treatment. However, it is a thought to ponder upon that there are greedy doctors out there who try to justify their extra treatments by manipulating you into believing them for their long experience. It is a fact after all, that a surgeon makes more money performing surgeries than a doctor does in a clinic doing a mere checkup.
Apart from this sort of malpractice, there is one thing yet to study, which is, that even after prescribing extra tests or checkups, or keeping the patient in the hospital bed for longer periods than required, even getting them admitted in the first place, these things not exactly help the primary care doctor in a monetary way. Shocked, right?
If not just money than what else is there that makes the doctors put their years of practice into jeopardy? According to Danial Brotman, a professor of medicine and director of the Hospitalist Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he along with some colleagues of him did substantial research only to find out that the fault lies somewhere in the patient’s perception of medicine, as well. They concluded that since we collectively think that “more is better”, the patients start associating this belief with the treatments, too. They prefer getting additional treatments for the satisfaction of their heart and this notion needs to be completely transformed into better thinking.
The physicians also have to be blamed for some of it, or do they? They tend to go the extra mile to please the patients till their satisfaction levels are met because they are also under stress from the administrators’ orders that they have to serve their patients properly. Sometimes the patients even get advised to get a CT scan done, when all they had come for was to complain about a general headache. People often show a hypochondriac mindset that leads them to take extra care of themselves. In this way, extra treatments would be the right word to go by. But to our amazement, another fraction of people exist who think that a Nurofen [Advil] has the solution to all the sickness. They don’t bother going to the doctor at all.
The surgeons having a hefty fee is not the sole reason to avoid them. You will obviously be required to visit them in case of an emergency. However, just having a long experience in the field of medicine does not justify the judgment that a local practitioner or a primary care doctor is not efficient enough to be treated.
To eradicate this abuse of expertise, not only the primary care doctors but also the society as a whole need to eradicate the mindset that contributes towards damaging the whole setting. The extensive thought process with expert advice from good doctors should be enforced while taking the decisions involving healthcare. Where we are not short of resources for necessary treatment, it should also be considered that even the usage of those resources is being paid from someone’s pocket and that does not only affect one person or an organization but the whole society.
Another reason for people to consider primary care specifically is addressed in a dissertation from Stanford and Harvard medical schools. It says that on an average, for every 10 more primary care doctors, the life-expectancy rate rises by 51.5%. Which in simpler means a state that family doctors and local practitioners should be encouraged nationwide. Everyone should support them in general. It is wiser to do so because the alternative can lead us to some destructive circumstances will be harder to come back from.