Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things that make me grumpy

I have nothing against doctors making money. Hell, I'm trying to do that myself.

So medical journals are full of ads offering ways for doctors to increase revenue. Some of them practical, some hokey, and some that really piss me off.

Like this one:

(click to enlarge)




I have nothing against doctors who are doing concierge work, or sinking money into tech stuff, or marketing their practice.

But what ticks me off about this ad is that of the 4 things they claim to offer, doing what's best for patients is the very last thing listed.

If I ever reach the point where making money, investing in gadgets, or marketing my practice take precedence over doing what's right for patients, I hope someone tells me it's time to hang it up.

And if you've reached that point and don't see a problem with it, than maybe you've forgotten why you became a doctor.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. G -- you know you are a rare breed, right? Please stay that way! You give me hope that someday I will find a doctor in my neck of the woods who cares as much about his/her patients as you do.

Anonymous said...

So, when I look up concierge, it's someone who handles the luggage, looks after pets, get tickets to the theatre for hotel guests, functions as the night watchman, etc.
Sounds classy to me!!

Solitary Diner said...

Great post Grumpy.

Packer said...

Notch down the volume just a bit Grumpy,I read it and the categories are not ranked, nor are they mutually exclusive. So relax, the medical profession has not yet reached the level that the personal injury lawyer of Florida has---you know the bill board on the interstate that says Stubbed your toe, sue for big bucks . When you get to that stage hang it up.

Anonymous said...

@Packer- you haven't seen those "Vasectomy Reversal" billboards all along I-10?

Anonymous said...

You tell 'em!! While Packer's comment is technically correct, I have to agree with the doc - English is read left to right, our eyes are trained to scan that way practically from birth - so while it might not be a conscious realization, I bet many people would read this and find it mildly offensive (and many wouldn't even be able to tell you why!) Unfortunately, I've had first-hand experience with this type of doc - I'm just glad that Grumpy's type is still in the majority!

Packer said...

@Anon 10:02 No and I never hope to. Ouch.

Don said...

"Financial Freedom"? What are they talking about? I can't get to their site from work, but something like that, unless it was made by some of Dilbert's Moldavians(sp?) will be a LOT of money. Why go into perhaps a half million in debt or more?
Of course, the other issue is how are lasers supposed to alleviate pain? Cutting off the appendage that hurts...?

thethingspatientssay said...

There was a guy in Louisiana who used to use all these gimmicks, taking out full page ads in the paper to showcase them. It seems lasers can stop smoking, erectile dysfunction, dropsy, poor driving, and snorting when you laugh. Of course, that same guy got busted for selling narcotic scripts and is now in prison for the 10 years. He was pretty, too. I'm betting he's someone's bitch about now.

Anonymous said...

I left my last primary care physician partly because I found out, by cold calling in exasperation, that I could get an appointment within 2 months for regular care... but within two weeks for laser hair removal.

Great profit center, though.

thatsit said...

The ENT that is doing my 9 year olds tonsillectomy is also a facial plastic surgeon. He is advertising for botox parties. More power to him. If it makes it so he can accept our horrible health insurance as payment in full-rock on.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that laser pain relief is essentially an ineffective treatment that has no substantial evidence supporting the idea that it works. Any benefit it produces is via the placebo response. Nothing wrong with adding a little placebo to your practice to get better outcomes (that's what the white coat is for), but there is something wrong with building an entire practice around it, and charging patients for ineffective treatments.

Bob@thenest said...

@ thethingspatientssay

If lasers can do all that for me I'm going to turn the laser sights on my pistols around. Well, at least one of them. :-)

Anonymous said...

I used to see a dentist who had all the latest technologies, everything in his office was really sharp looking. Sucked as a dentist. So I left... still have to be a good dentist no matter what you have around the office, and you can't fake it/hide behind the gadgets...

Outre said...

I got a slogan for them, “We beam your pain away and you’ll walk away with a beaming smile.”

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up, Dr. Grumpy!

ERP said...

Right. It was almost like they thought "Oh yeah, and it's doing what's right for patients" and stuck it in at the end.

TracyKM said...

Although I read it left to right, I didn't read them as being in a specific order.
You might be interested in the story of a ped. in my town, Whitby, Ontario. We have gov't healthcare which covers well baby visits...usually 5-15 min. visit. This doctor started offering an additional "club" for $2000/year, where you get more visits that are longer, plus other perks like a breastfeeding clinic (we have free clinics through public health). That was fine, but then the doctor started refusing to take new patients who wouldn't pay the extra fee. Now she's in big hot water and has closed her breastfeeding clinic (it was the only doc. run one in the area).
So...I'm not sure who's side I'm on. If you practice in Ontario, you need to abide by Ont's philosophy. But, it would also be nice if we could pay for extra/better service...but not to the exclusion of those who can't pay...

Anonymous said...

If you're dyslexic that's the first thing you read.

Vicki said...

I fail to see how laser treatment fits into consierge medicine. Can you do housecalls with lasers? Have someone call you in the middle of the night, "I need my laser treatment NOW!" Sounds like a another scam to rip off patients!

PGYx said...

5.33 years of school/training done, 2.66 years to go! It'll all be worth it if I get to invest in technology. And man, I can't wait to market my practice!

oceankisses said...

Great Post Doctor! I hope you always keep that pure attitude. Here in So. California, doctors are selling medical marijuana cards to anyone that can come up with the cash and any bogus reason they should be granted one. It's not that I don't think pot MIGHT be helpful for someone, I just think people and doctors are taking advantage of this situation.

 
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