Doctors are now under firm guidelines for prescribing opioids and other addictive substances, a regulation meant to limit the number of patients prescribed them and, correspondingly, lower rates of addiction and abuse. But in the attempt to reduce and eventually eliminate one problem, it's creating an entirely different one.
Staring up at the constellation Orion on a crisp winter's night, I wonder how much longer I can bear the pain. The pain of
After spending about half an hour discussing a diagnosis and treatment plan with a patient in my office, she pulled out her phone and Googled it. In my office. With me there. When did Google become a reputable second opinion?
Complaints should not be hard for patients to make or for providers to receive. One of the best ways to ensure complaints serve their purpose -- that is to say, point out important issues so we can improve care -- is to create systems that can properly manage them. That way everyone feels heard; no one slips through the cracks. My patient's complaint inspired me to look at my own practice. I am starting to restructure my time in clinic over the course of a week, using email and phone calls more frequently, and better integrating the other highly skilled members of the team.
As a patient, you are entitled to a full discussion with your surgeon about the potential benefits -- and risks -- of an operation before you give consent to the treatment. "Patients certainly shouldn't feel intimidated or concerned about asking questions. It is ultimately their health that is at stake," says Sally Bean, a Policy Advisor and Ethicist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In my experience, most surgeons are quite happy to discuss those types of things with you." So, to answer your question, it is okay to ask a doctor how often he or she has performed the procedure.
You need a healthy life to create a healthy body. There is no quick fix, and no pharmaceutical can erase the effects of poor lifestyle choices. Studies have shown only 20 per cent of hospitalizations and deaths are caused by genetics alone, and health is 75 per cent lifestyle. The choices you make each time you eat, move, think and behave all play a pivotal role in creating your health, or lack thereof.
The debate over health care consumerism -- a more overarching issue bound up in the very notion of Canadianism -- is over. Outside of dusty corners of academia, Canadians agree that health care is a service industry like any other. It's just more complicated.