Patient Education

Have faith in Doctor! Seek second opinion before planned surgery!! (Editor)

A culture of over-investigation and over-treatment has set in with paradigm shift in seeking healthcare from specialists instead of family physician. It is now one of the greatest threats to health. It is estimated that at least a third of all healthcare activity brings no benefit to patients. Examples include excessive use of antibiotics, MRI/CT for simple headaches, use of surgery when watchful waiting is better and unwanted intensive care/ventilators for patients at the end of life who would prefer home care. ….. a fee-for-service model encourages high volume and expensive procedures. So called routine or comprehensive test done annually is another activity that robs the person and enriches the diagnostic centre.

Medical professionals have been guilty of exaggerating the benefits of medications often perceived as magic pills by patients when their benefits are often modest at best. This also detracts from more meaningful lifestyle interventions by giving the public the illusion of protection. One recent study revealed that those taking statins consumed considerably more food and ended up heavier after several years compared to those not taking statins. Over-obsession with cholesterol-lowering by any means has become “the end in itself.” Use of such medicines appears to be influenced by corporate interests.  At best, this is a contribution to over-medicalisation; at worst, this may seem like the behavior of a sort of lobby group for the device and pharmaceutical industry. Encouraging patients to ask specific questions will also help them understand that sometimes doing nothing is the best approach. Questions such as: do I really need this test or procedure? What are the risks? Are there simpler safer options? What happens if I do nothing? And how much does it cost-can the cost be saved? (New England Journal of Medicine)

However doctor can risk even his own life?

All is not decadent. Most doctors work for welfare of the patients.  A doctor can risk even his own life when it comes to saving a patient’s life! Recent earthquake brought out an example of such nobility!

“I was stitching up her uterus when the tremors came. I had to close it to stop severe bleeding. There was no question of evacuating the building as she would have died within minutes,” Sapkota told HT. The surgery was successful; the woman saved. Six hours after the quake, he found himself working at the same operating table, performing a caesarean section on a woman whose baby was in transverse lie- medical jargon for a baby lying sideways.”She delivered a healthy baby. And there I was holding new life, with death all around,” he smiled. “Nature’s ways are inscrutable.”

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