Title: "How To Revamp Our Medical Systems" Author: Unknown
How in free America would it be possible for a married couple to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars for retirement and then lose it all in a month's time? One way is if they encounter medical problems. Sky high medical costs in America are the biggest threat to a family's retirement savings.
Here are some ideas for fixing the medical care industry in America, without socializing medicine.
1. We need to require medical schools and nursing schools to accept every American student with a reasonable GPA. Pre-med students and nursing students are being turned down by the thousands. They are being denied entrance to medical school and to nursing school. Once there is an increase in the supply of doctors and nurses the prices will come down. We need have a policy of "no medical or nursing student left behind!"
2. We need to loosen the grip doctors have on medicine. Nurses ought to be able to prescribe medicines for colds and other common ailments. Technicians such as ultrasound and MRI specialists ought to be able to interpret their findings without the supervision of a doctor. It is so frustrating to go receive an ultrasound and then be told by the technician that they can not tell me the results and that the doctor will contact me. And in every instance the doctor has never contacted me.
3. We need to create new specialists that are capable of practicing medicine in their specialty and where it doesn't take 10 years to become trained. These new specialists would be specialized nurses or technicians and they would be able to prescribe tests and medicines.
4. We need to pass a law that hospitals can only be for non-profit. I believe this is the way it was 50 years ago. Hospitals should not be in the business of making money. Hospitals should be in the business of helping people. Outlaw for-profit hospitals.
5. Allow self-directed medicine. With the internet and with the level of education in America it makes sense to allow informed well educated adults to order their own tests for self-diagnosis.
Here is my personal experience with the medical care industry. I have been trying for five years to find the cause of a constant pain in my right side. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars and have gone to ten doctors and not one has ever bothered to ask me to take my shirt off and press their fingers around where my pain is to try and determine the source of the pain.
They all simply order tests and MRI's and ultrasounds and then they do not follow up properly. Not one doctor has ever asked me to come in for a follow-up visit after the MRI's and CT scans. I've had 3 MRI's 2 CT scans and 5 ultrasounds, one colonoscopy, 2 endoscopies, 2 procedures where they put a TV camera up through the urinary canal to look at the bladder and kidney, and scores of blood tests in the past five years.
I have found that to go to a specialist I have to go first to a GP or internal medicine doctor. And then when I go to a specialist they are not capable of diagnosing the problem in a meaningful way. Instead they order several tests and then, after the tests, their nurse suggests I you go to some other type of doctor. And when I thought maybe the pain was from my back I found I was turned down by most back surgeons because I am self-pay.
On another occasion I asked the gastrointestinal specialist to please include in his diagnosis the necessary tests to determine if I had a "gastro intestinal stromal tumor" - a form of cancer. While he acknowledged what I said he never followed up at all on my request and in fact after the expensive series of tests he ordered for me, he never followed up on them either. It seems the doctors like to make their money from the expensive tests and the do not follow up on them.
I suspect my problem, is a gal-bladder problem or appendicitis, but I guess it will have to go to the emergency room before a doctor will care enough to actually try and help in a meaningful way.
In defense of doctors, a friend of mine who's sister married a young doctor recently told me his wife's husband is strapped with $300,000.00 of debt from medical school loans. With such a high cost of entry into medicine, it is no wonder doctors are so driven to make money.
But by teaching technicians a specialty in 2 to 5 years instead of 10 years (for doctors), and allowing them to practice that specialty, we can cut the costs of education needed to practice medicine and cut the cost of medical care and improve the quality of medical care.
Recently someone else told me that students take pre-med in America and then go to a foreign country to become a doctor and then come back to practice medicine in America. Wouldn't it be better to revamp the medical education system in America instead of leaving the education of our doctors to foreign countries where we have no control over the quality of their education?
There is no reason why an ultrasound technician should not be able to interpret the results of an ultrasound. There is no reason why a nurse should not be able to swab the throat of a patient and based on lab results prescribe medicine for strep throat.
If we could just loosen the grip doctors have on prescriptions, return hospitals to non-profit organizations, and stop turning away medical and nursing students, we would drastically lower the costs of medical care and drastically improve the quality of medical care.
And with well educated people and with the internet as a research tool doctors serve very little to help and in many cases are only an obstacle to a speedy diagnosis and correct treatment. Self-diagnosis for the educated should be allowed.