Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wait and F**king See

Back in college, we used to have a running joke about how the infirmary seemed obsessed about giving out packets of "salt and soda gargle" for almost any ailment. Got a cold? Salt & soda gargle. A stomach ache? Salt & soda gargle. A broken leg? Salt & soda gargle. Your left arm just fell off? Salt & soda gargle. It was funny in large part because the health services were essentially free so no one really expected fantastic service.

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that you should expect the same level of service in the "real world", particularly when it comes to health care for your kids. Only now the miracle cure isn't salt and soda gargle, it's "wait and see". Your child has a cold? Wait and see. A stomach ache? Wait and see. Reflux so persistent that she's either in constantly soaked clothes or has to have a binky in her mouth, which is interfering with her being able to develop her already severely delayed language skills? You guessed it... wait and f**king see.

I don't really know why I expected any different. The perception our society holds for doctors is that they are somehow superhuman -- after all, they survive all those years of school and a grueling internship, they must be to intellectual prowess what Navy seals are to physical fitness. In reality this is only an ideal, how we wish doctors would be.

I see the same thing in my own profession -- software development. There are a woefully small number of software developers who actually give a crap about what they do and an even smaller percentage of those who have the skills to do it well. Most are either clumsy wannabes or only in it for the money. The same principle applies to doctors, apparently.

Of course, the wait and see response is a perfect hedge against litigation -- after all how can you be sued for malpractice if you never practice at all!

1 comment:

Mere said...

Hey, M. I totally agree with you. Their other thing is to ask about "stress" and then attribute any symptoms the patient is having to that. Whenever they ask me if I've been under a lot of stress, I say no. Life's been a bacchanal. Find my real problem, fucker.