Saturday, January 26, 2008

The R.I.C.E way...

I injured my leg last week playing football and it looked quite bad. I initially thought it was a fracture and that was a scary thought. I have been playing different types of sports for many years but never had a fracture or for that matter the serious kind of injury I had last week (touch wood!). I had a few friends at office who had faced similar injuries in the past assure me that it was not a fracture. This did bolden me when I went to visit the doctor.

He pressed a few of the bones and joints near the ankle area (the problem area) and since I didn't shout out, he figured it was not a fracture. A friend at office did the same to say that it wasn't a fracture. The doctor later told me to take an X-Ray and confirmed after looking at it that it was not a fracture. He later said:

"Have a lot of rest, put some ice near the swelling, put some crepe bandage to keep it tight and ensure that you put your feet "up" i.e. fighting gravity." To my surprise, another colleague of mine later pointed me to this, which is exactly the same stuff that the doctor said. Either I have an office full of orthopedics or this is very common knowledge. The doctor looked earnest in opinion till this point and then the financial reasoning came forth and he asked me to come to his hospital and start on physiotherapy. He didn't want to understand that I have to get to office and to start physiotherapy at 10:30AM is not something that will work for me at all. But nope, he wanted me to do it and didn't encourage me to get it done somewhere closer to my office. I have boldly decided not to do the physiotherapy as suggested and trust the wiki page or some other specialized website for directions on what I could do in "MY" time!

I may regret this decision to not go with the physiotherapy, but the inflexibility of the doctor to place the welfare of the patient ahead of his own business needs didn't appeal to me at all. Yes, we all work for money, but a doctor is not expected to talk like a salesman. In the software industry, we have specialists to do each job. Some of us code, some of us test, some of us manage, some of us sell, some of us do the marketing and so on. Shouldn't the practice of medicine also be similar ? Should a person in a higher position of trust, like a doctor, try to talk you into something that is forced more by the needs of business rather than the needs of the patient ? What does such talk by a doctor do to the faith bestowed on him by the patient? In our hour of desperation and pain, we will tend to listen to "whatever" the good doctor has to say. Misusing this trust points to a question of ethics, at least for me it does!

As previously written, the profession of medicine is so much more different from any other and continues to intrigue me.

p.s: I have very few friends who are doctors. :-)


Anonymous said...

You better set right your leg by contacting a nearby orthopedic specialist by which you are not disobeying doctors view in curing.present day world look for profit in any of their work.Doctors are also no exceptions.Paying heafty amounts for their masters they are left with no choice.I look at it in this direction

Ajay said...

I do agree with what you say when it comes to family doctor clinics. But this was a hospital I had been too. The doctor is probably a salaried person there and unless there is some sorta kickback for the amount of money he generates for the hospital, I don't see him doing the right thing. And if there are kickbacks, well... that just strengthens my point, doesn't it.