Modern medicine has evolved from the patient-focused service of the past to the corporate-minded, money machine we know today. Unfortunately, doctors are not incentivized to provide the best care for their patients, but to see as many patients and refer them to specialists, who are more expensive and can require lab costs…at additional cost.
“Unfortunately, doctors are not incentivized to provide the best care for their patients…”
This scenario is inconvenient, annoying, and unaffordable for everyone, but something people don’t talk a lot about is when this pressure for doctors to force standard, expensive medicine interferes with your beliefs and values in addition to your schedule and pocketbook.
“The big goals of the current healthcare system of seeing as many patients as possible and referring them to in-network specialists lead to discomfort, even distrust, for the patient, and it can seem like the doctor does not have your best interest in mind.”
Let me give you an example. The other day a patient complained that she was being coerced into giving her 9-year-old a vaccine that protects her from cervical cancer when she becomes sexually active. First of all, if a 9-year-old is sexually active, you have a lot bigger issues than cervical cancer. Second of all, informed consent dictates that the parents be aware that the vaccine does not protect against cervical cancer in 3 out of 10 cases, and getting the virus does not mean the patient will get cervical cancer, though she is at greater risk. Most importantly, the virus is sexually transmitted, and abstinence before marriage provides the greatest immunity against this type of cancer. These facts are not discussed often due to time constraints and philosophy or worldview.
I hear cases like this all of the time, and it’s part of the reason why I became a direct primary care physician – I believe patients should be given all options and given the most updated research so they can make the best decisions for their physical health, their budgets, and their beliefs and worldview.