Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thanks for pretty much nothing Dr Bob..

So the patient in this ad made an appointment with his doctor (a guy he knows well enough to call by his first name- I've had the same primary care physician for 30 years and I don't call him by his first name) because he's got back pain.  Sounds smart.  I know from personal experience that back pain is something to take seriously.

Anyway, I'm sure the patient expected to go from a waiting room filled with magazines to an examination room where he'd be asked to disrobe and sit quietly while Dr Bob dealt with other patients.  Then Dr Bob would come in and ask him to describe his symptoms.  Then he'd lay down on the couch/table covered with a thin sheet of paper and Dr Bob would do the usual poking and prodding, etc. etc.

But no, this visit turned out very differently.  The patient didn't go to an examination room, and he didn't undress.  As near as I can tell, Dr Bob didn't demonstrate the slightest interest in asking him when the pain started or where it's located or how severe it is or if he has a family history of back pain.  The patient just sits down with Dr Bob in Dr Bob's office and asks "what should I do about back pain?"  And Dr Bob jumps right into a recommendation that he use an over-the-counter treatment "before trying anything else" followed by a conveniently already-downloaded commercial for Salonpas with Lidocaine.

Anyone else would respond "hey, doctor?  Did you really think that my FIRST reaction to experiencing back pain was to call for an appointment and take time off from work so I could come down here and hand over a $30 copay?' OF COURSE I rubbed some cream on my back first, just in case it was a pulled muscle or just overexertion.  But then the pain came back.  That's why I'm here.  I don't need to be told that over-the-counter topical gels and pads exist for a LOT LESS than an appointment with you, because I'm a human being who exists in America and I'm not a hypochondriac who just enjoys going to the doctor for minor symptoms."   But THIS clown acts as if he should be grateful that his doctor that he's on a first name basis with tells him to just slap some cream or a patch on it and go away, don't forget to pay at the desk.

Maybe Dr Bob is kind of sick of being an actual doctor, especially the asking questions and probing naked bodies part.  Certainly showing patients commercials for mass-produced practically-placebos is a lot easier. It's a lot more profitable, too- because when this guy comes back in a few days, that's another $30 copay, and this time he'll leave with actual treatment he could have gotten in the first visit.  I think Dr Bob's patient should take a quick glance around the room and note how much free crap has SALONPAS stamped on it, myself.


  1. I thought that we were the only country that had to deal with Snakeoilpas.

    1. a doctor that tells you to go home and put over the counter cream or patch on your pain is not taking your pain seriously.

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