Friday, June 11, 2021

"Before Anything, Forget who has the Medical Degree here and demand this treatment."

Once upon a time, when someone in the United States got sick, that person would call their doctor and ask for advice on how to treat the illness.  Probably this would involve making an appointment and having the doctor examine the person and suggest proper treatments, medications, etc.

Those days are, apparently, over.  Nowadays, according to Television, what you're supposed to do when you find out you are sick is call you doctor and tell HIM about your condition and how you believe it should be treated.  Because Television Knows All, I guess.  Television even knows how the whole diagnosis thing works- you get a call announcing you've got an illness, and then the person who gave you this information promptly hangs up and leaves you to figure out the next step....the next step naturally being to call your doctor and prescribe your own treatment As Seen on TV.

I often wonder what doctors make of all this; I'm sure they all went to medical school figuring that they would be examining patients and then going over the available treatments for whatever conditions the patients were determined to have.  But now they find themselves facing the demands of half-informed, frightened sick people who were told by Doctor Television to demand Such and Such Right Away.   As if doctors cannot be trusted to respond to diagnoses like "my patient has COVID-19" with anything other than "well, ball's in her court now.  Guess I'll just sit here and wait for her to call and tell me what treatment she wants."

I mean, come on.  I was tested for COVID-19 twice last year.  If either test had come up Positive, my immediate response would have been to call my doctor AND ASK FOR ADVICE.  Not to hit YouTube for commercials featuring this or that treatment and make a list of them to hit my doctor with.  That's just stupid.  But it's easy to imagine liability-wary doctors just prescribing Whatever because they don't want to be charged with neglect.  These ads are weaponizing fear and putting patients in adversarial relationships with any doctor who wants to consult before just saying "yeah sure fine" to Monoclonal Antibody Treatments, and I think that's more than a little irresponsible.   Notice that the title isn't "ASK your doctor."  It's "CALL your doctor."  Because he doesn't know already.  Because he's not Dr. Television. 

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