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Everyday Life: Doctors 'Inoperable' | Health

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Everyday Life: Doctors 'Inoperable'

I had stayed pretty much out of the Western medical system until I came down with several nasty, and seemingly unresolvable, infections back in June. Until then, aside from "maintenance" to manage my fibromyalgia, mostly alternative medicine, I had been the epitome of health. Eventually, my search for solutions brought me to the Alexandria Professional Center. As I write this, I still have no answers, but the events of just one day have provoked not only more questions with respect to my individual situation, but also concerning our health care in general, beginning with its increasing resort to the use of computers.

Stop One - was to pick up a photocopy of test results which I had been assured the day before would be waiting for me in an envelope at the front desk. They were not, and as the office computer system was down, there was no way to access them. Thank God it wasn't an emergency.

Stop Two - one floor up, was to retrieve duplicates of radiology reports that I had requested a week ago. They weren't ready as promised either, and when the clerk checked the computer, and they hadn't been scanned in as of yet so she could not print them out. She actually gave me a copy of a record that I had provided at my initial appointment!

Stop Three - was home, thankfully just a ten minute walk away, as the above effort would have been a royal waste of time if I had to drive any distance. There, I found a message left by another doctor's office in the building, confirming an appointment for 11AM the next day. My card indicated a different time.

I am sure computers are wonderfully useful tools, but having witnessed the disarray and disruption in the ability of doctors' offices to function when they go "inoperable," no pun intended, I have to wonder if maybe too much reliance on them is misplaced. And may in the long run actually result in poorer medical care. I've been incredulous at seeing front office personnel sending e-mails to others within walking distance. I've also noticed during this round of visits a concentration on inputting information into templates on laptops, with less focus on listening to what a patient has to say. Physicians, like the rest of us, cannot multitask efficiently and do everything well. I don't know about you, but I'd rather deal with someone who is looking ME in the eye and does more of their own thinking, because the next, and scary, step is that we will be treated by MECHANICAL robots.

By no means do I intend this observational commentary as a disparagement of the medical profession, or the doctors in the aforementioned building. However, despite all this high tech, and tons of testing that show abnormally high leukocyte esterase and WBCs where they shouldn't be, I have not gotten a definitive diagnosis or cure. What I have gotten is passed around like a hot potato - that would be "referred"- from office to office, into more than one dispute with my insurance company, and a stack of bills. Translation - after over three months, it's gotten me nowhere. Suggestions welcome. Particularly since in the not so distant future, we are ALL going to be required to have health coverage as entree to partake in this system.