We hate to hear stories like the one Dr. Frances told recently over at Kevin.md. The picture he paints about his friend who has been the unfortunate victim of not only cancer, but “community” treatment mishaps leaves only one word in our minds.
And that is not the ideal word you want to use to describe healthcare. According to Dr. Frances, several of those mishaps could have easily been prevented if someone were just paying attention to the patient instead of his results. Among these mistakes? The patient was prescribed meds that clashed and is no longer able to participate in lung cancer studies because alternative treatments (also prescribed by his docs) compromised his kidneys.
Dr. Frances has had it up to here.
“Hippocrates must be spinning in his grave. We have lost track of what should be the most important dictum in medicine, his ‘First, do no harm.’ Too many doctors, too many tests, too many procedures, and no one keeping track. It’s a prescription for disaster, and the disasters keep happening.”
Dr. Frances now accompanies his friend at appointments to act as a sounding board for whatever conversations take place. He is, essentially, “a doctor to protect him from his doctors.” Trust has gone completely out the window.
“The system is broken, and the incentives are all wrong…For now, the only protection is a well-informed consumer. Read everything about your condition. Ask lots of questions about the rationale, risks, and benefits of every test and treatment. Expect clear and convincing answers. When in doubt, get second and third opinions.”
We feel for his situation. But we want to instill a bit of hope in his mind that while this problem is filling nearly the whole sky, a solution is also on the horizon. Direct Care turns chaos into tranquility through a truly patient-centric attitude. The entire DPC business model is designed with the patient in mind, putting them at the vortex of everything DPC docs think, do, say and research. Even as part of a group effort, we imagine that a Direct Care physician is more likely to have the time and big picture understanding of the patient to provide a more well-rounded assessment and treatment plan.
Trust is fleeting in healthcare. Direct Care is demanding it back.