Do you have an experience that you'd like to share w/our community board that relates to the ineptitude or unscrupulous behavior of a physician? As we know not all garage mechanics are honest. Some are. Sure that's absolutely true and I'm happy to say that I've met a few. But the idea of a dishonest mechanic is so widespread that it's become a cliché. My point here is that this is also true of other professions upon which we rely and sometimes depend. From camera repair to physicians. But in my opinion the physician who betrays the trust of a patient is among the lowest and most vile of all betrayals. It's bad enough when the mechanic charges you for unnecessary work but when a physician does it can truly be life altering. And then of course there's the ineptitude mentioned earlier. Did your doctor graduate at the head of his or her class or just barely make it through with the lowest grades possible? In the early years of my life I grew up with the old fashioned "Family Doctor" this guy was the real thing. I'm talking making "House calls" even if he knew you couldn't afford to pay him. Whatever happened to that? Whatever happened to "at least do no harm?"
If you have a personal story about modern medicine gone wrong please let us know. This topic is designed to help alert people to the imperativeness of the second opinion. Or even third or forth opinion for that matter.
I know it's not always financially feasible to get that second opinion but what I'm saying here is to explore alternatives to the diagnosis. Especially if it's drastic! Physicians are just people and are fallible. Also let's put some real thought into the choosing of a doctor. Shop around. If he or she doesn't feel right for some reason then ditch 'em. Remember they work for you. Please know that it's my intention to use the stories submitted here in a book that I'm writing on western medicine gone bad, so unless you state otherwise I will consider your posting here to be the granting of your permission to use your story. Your anonymity is guaranteed since I will be writing the stories only using the initials of the parties involved not full names. E.g. Will Smith would translate to W.S. Also if you have a happy story involving western medicine feel free to share that too. Like a physician who went above and beyond. That kind of thing. Please whenever possible include the geographic location of event(s) i.e. city and state, plus date. For example Springfield, MA. 2/4/86.
So why have I created this community board topic and why am going as far as writing a book? I'm glad you asked. It's like this. Over the years I had heard plenty of un-cool things about western medicine and so it just became natural for me to look into alternative forms of healing/prevention etc. Deciding early on that when it came to western medicine "the best medicine was no medicine.” So anyway back in 2004 I decided it was time to go to the dentist and get my teeth professionally cleaned, something that I've done every few years as a part of good dental hygiene. So I found a dentist and started the process. I was a new patient so the first thing they wanted to do was take X-rays. I of course said no. I said that I was only there for a cleaning and that I didn't need X-rays. They of course said that since I was a new patient it was really important to X-ray so that they could perform a thorough exam and do the best job possible. Okay so I admit it. I let myself be talked into it. After all why not have the best job possible? After the X-rays I was told that I had 4 impacted wisdom teeth and that they needed to be removed. Wait a minute I say, I've had 4 impacted wisdom teeth since I was 16. That's around 30 years and they've never caused a problem. So why remove them now? If it's not broke don't fix it right? Okay so the dentist backs off. Now anytime in the past that I went for a cleaning it was done and over in one visit, but this time for some reason they break it up into several appointments. I thought that was pretty odd but went with it. And no it wasn't because my teeth needed drastic cleaning. Actually not much really needed to be done at all since unbeknownst to the dentist I had shortly before making the appointment had my teeth cleaned by the woman who was my wife at the time of this event. She had her own dental tools and she's pretty good. I only went to the dentist to basically finish off the procedure with some deeper cleaning and polish. So anyway they broke up my appointments, and every time I went back the dentist would press me to get the wisdom teeth removed. I would just laugh and say that it wasn't necessary. Okay here we go. On like my 3rd visit she (the dentist) says that she's found a big cavity in one of my back molars. Not just a cavity but a BIG cavity and that she can't repair it because of something to do with the proximity of the wisdom tooth. She asks me if I'm in pain. I say no, that I didn't even realize that I had a cavity. She replies by saying that the cavity is so big that it won't be long before I feel it. She says that the tooth with the cavity and the wisdom teeth need to come out now because this can happen to my other teeth.
I did not think to get a second opinion on the cavity. Believe it or not I did not consider that a trained professional dentist could make a mistake on that level. I mean c'mon she was indicating a cavity the size of Texas. (Maybe it's my pride but I still don't want to believe that the misdiagnosis was intentional.)
At least I had the presence of mind to say no to another tooth she wanted to mark for extraction. She wanted to take that one because she said she thought it might have a cavity or maybe get one someday? I said no. I said if you’re not sure then it's not coming out. No extractions on just a maybe.
So she sent me off to the oral surgeon with instructions for him to evaluate and extract. Since she had finally convinced me (wore me down?) about the wisdom teeth, the plan was to extract 4 wisdoms and a molar w/a cavity. 5 teeth! She had convinced me that the cavity was only a sign of things to come so I went with it.
In the chair of the oral surgeon just before I went under, I asked him to save my teeth for me. I said that I'd had them for a long time and would like to keep them. He indicated that they didn't normally do that but he would see if he could maybe save a few. So after all was said and done I left his office with 4 teeth extracted two of which I had in my pocket.
It turned out that he was unable to perform one of the wisdom extractions so that tooth escaped. I won't detail here all the pain and suffering I went through in the 2 weeks after the surgery but I'm tellin' ya it was a lot! My whole face was so swollen as to make me unrecognizable! But here's the best part. One of the 2 teeth he managed to save for me was the one with the BIG cavity. Guess what? It's NOT a cavity. It's a filling. Part of the silver had just turned very dark over time. Man I really messed up here. I let them get me! I feel violated. And with that molar gone I'm reminded of the event every time I eat. And what happened to evaluate and extract? Does EVALUATE mean less then I thought it did? In this case apparently so. So really a large part of this community board topic and the writing of the book previously mentioned is in trying to prevent similar occurrences from happening to other people. I'm working on turning my experience into something positive by helping others to not fall into the same trap as I. I've never sued anyone before but after this I've started to look into it. I mean what's all that talk about malpractice and recompense? I've only just started looking into that side of things but basically all the feedback I'm getting is saying "Let the buyer beware" and that somehow it's my fault for not getting a second opinion... So there it is. I believe that everything happens for a reason. So I like to think that being better able to help someone is my reason. Don't let this happen to you. I welcome your stories and feedback.