So my last night’s story for Clueless Doctors for you. I found a toll free number to the NIH poison center; the one you are supposed to call when you or your child gets poisoned by something and want to find out what to do.
So the guys picks up and I ask
- “how long before the brain fully empties the extra serotonin from serotonin poisoning?” He says
- “Serotonin what?” I say
- “well you know, when they prescribe too much serotonin and you get toxic levels of serotonin build up in the brain.” He said
- “Oh that! That is so rare you need not worry.” So I say
- ” I just read it on the NIH website that last year over 47,000 people had it and just under 100 died.” He says
- “Just ignore NIH”… I say
- “duh… YOU ARE NIH“…
What dumb people are answering the phone at NIH poison center to help you??? Honestly?
Note that the number I called is the official number one is supposed to call from everywhere in the US whatever poisoning occurs. Can we even trust the poison center? Is there any place we can go today where we will be treated competently?
There are some places. I have some awesome doctors now after years of searching but it took me about 10 years of moving from doctor to doctor and 2 times near death experience before I found the competent ones. Now you all know that I have medical knowledge at the research level–I am not an MD but a PhD so my field is research rather than practice. Thus I have the advantage over a large percentage of the population who do not know what the doctors do instead of what they should be doing! What can you do then?
Let me tell you another story from yesterday. My mother was completely misdiagnosed at a local very well known hospital and treated with the wrong medications, they forgot to give her the medications she has always taken, etc. So several cases of malpractice and negligence. I filed a claim (within the hospital, following their process) against two doctors who were in charge of my mom’s 10 days in the hospital.
So yesterday I received a letter confirming that the hospital received my complaints and since the doctors are independent contractors and not hospital employees, the hospital is not responsible for their action… I am serious. This is what the letter said. Here is what I wrote back to the hospital:
Interesting statement–does hospital X hire doctors to work on hospital X patients, in hospital X medical rooms, using hospital X equipment, in hospital X offices, using hospital X computers, ordering hospital X nurses, using hospital X medical dispenser system for medicines, and are not responsible for hospital X patients? This will be an interesting discussion indeed.
How did the system degrade to the level that is less responsible than constructions or grocery stores or any other public or private system? How can the healthcare system of a country be not responsible for its doctors’ incompetent, negligent, and sometimes criminal actions? Here is a criminal one for you: If on your medical chart says you are allergic to a medicine and the doctor goes ahead and gives it to you anyway, that is “intent to harm” and that is a criminal act.
So now you may say “why don’t you file criminal charges against that doctor?” And I have to tell you that I cannot. The California medical criminal system is so kluged up as a result of attorneys refusing to take on malpractice cases, that the District Attorney’s office can no longer see out of their offices from the stacks and stacks of claims. No claim can be put in that will actually prosecute in my lifetime. And then you may ask “well don’t attorneys take on the malpractice cases?”
Here is an example for you that made the news a day or two ago: a child died from the malpractice of a doctor. The mother wanted to sue but no attorney would take it so she paid for the suit and hired an attorney to file a malpractice. She lost! Her child was dead, obvious malpractice and she lost! Not only that but then after loosing her child and also all that money in court, the insurance companies ended up suing her for all the costs they had in defending themselves.
Today, in California, no attorney will take on a malpractice lawsuit no matter how hard you try. the explanation is simple and rather ugly: if the malpractice is against a child or an elderly, there is absolutely no chance for them to prove that the child or elderly would not have ended up dead without the bad treatment. In the case of a young adult through middle age person, there is a chance that life would have turned out differently and so then they cannot judge and this little bit of uncertainty is enough to motivate.
This system has to change. I have some ideas that will be written up on my next day of thoughts. If you have any suggestions or complaints yourself or know someone who does, please feel free to write it up under comments or visit my Facebook Fan page and comment there.
“This system has to change.” Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath to see that going to happen any time soon. And even if it would change for the better, it still would hold people hostage. Yes, yes, I know, most of our brethren and sisters love to be dependent, not to be held accountable for their actions, and rather safely stick to whining and complaining about it at the same time. That’s why we have leaders, no? That’s why we have people who represent us, eh? And that’s why we have systems, hehe.
I left that road a long time ago, and certainly when it comes to my health, I’m the one with the map, guiding the professionals to the road to be taken. My road!
A person needs to take his/her life in her/his own hands, and not leave it up to others to decide what has to be done or not, not even to the competent and caring ones. It’s your life. So own it!
The time I was blessed with cancer, I learned how to behave around doctors, as well as to find the right ones, and instruct them how to behave when I’m in the room, so I could have at least a chance to survive in dignity.
You know what helps? Telling a doc that if he/she hides anything from you, makes a mistake, messes up, or uses you for a guinea pig, you won’t file any charges against her/him, but instead will come for him/her yourself, and if she/he’s lucky you will restrict yourself to only make his/her life extremely miserable. But….um……the latter……of only when you’re in a good mood, eh?
Try this the next time you’re in a doctor’s office and you’ll be surprised how cooperative she/he will be. Beware about bullying though! No harsh words, no aggressive tone of voice, and no animosity whatsoever. To be successful, the keywords are: Charm, friendliness, warmth, empathy, understanding, and persuasiveness, while your body language clearly tells him/her there’s no other way than to do as you say. If you do it right, the doc will think it was her/his idea from the beginning. In fact, you would have modified his/her beliefs, attitude, and future behavior. Now wouldn’t that be something? You think this is crap? You don’t belief this can work? Then by all means, change the system, and keep on whining.
I agree Roald! Nice to see you comment! Thank you. I do exactly as you say so I now have great doctors but I do have a few pointers: the system must change since you and I as professionals know how to control doctors but a person who is not in the medical field does not. Smiling and being charming with a personality that shows steady power does not work with most doctors I personally have tried–It may be very different where you are in the gorgeous Aruba from where we are in our busy world. I personally only started finding my best doctors when I insisted on being called back as Dr. Stanton. As long as I was “just” a Mrs. Stanton, I got a bunch of gibberish… when I switched to Dr. Stanton and made sure they called me that way (if they called me Mrs. I called them back Mr or Ms or Mrs, if they called me Angela I called them back on their first name… they got the message) I finally started to get results and competent answers. Knowledge and the showing of knowledge is the key.
I am going thru the worst time of my life. I now with protective services. I am very ill with MS, Seizures, epilepsey, siadh, sjogrens, fibromyalgia and myositis, primary lymphedema, stroke syndrome, ischemic heart disease, hypermobility, severe cervical degeneration, lumbar etc, spinal stenosis and more.
I’m being forced into a nursing home long term. I was in several the last year. It was a horrible experience. Fraught with neglegent, harmful consequences and with the board of health arriving as I was discharged in 5 days. I was taken out because of the harm I was placed in. Only to be sent to my empty apartment. I have no family. Going thru a divorce. People have taken advantage of me. I don’t know what to do. Where to go..any help would be appreciated. I lost my entire life and belongings because of my husband who decided to abandon me.
Sharon, you now have 4Fate.org helping you and I hope they will be able to provide you with assistance. 🙂
There are plenty of lawyers who will take up medical malpractice cases, but doing so on contingency is a risk for them, as those cases are expensive to research, process, and try. Also, if you want to pursue action against docs, see a lawyer first. Who you sue, where, and how are matters best decided by legal professionals. A PhD in anything, even law, is not equal to the resources of an experienced, successful trial attorney. Finally, you can always try to mediate your complaint directly with the hospital and physician practices, or by using an outside mediator. Mediation is your last shot at controlling your case. Once a case is in a lawyer’s hands, paid or on contingency, the lawyer should have the reins and the court definitely will. I agree that the medical practices most of us encounter are unsatisfactory, but usually there is more to any case than meets the eye. I wish you the best of luck in pursuit of a successful outcome. (I am not a lawyer.)
Thanks Tom for your comment. In California today getting a malpractice going is impossible. A woman actually hired for money attorneys to file a malpractice suit since her son died from malpractice and she lost the case and now the insurance companies are after her to pay their expenses as well! The hospital takes no responsibility over the doctors it contracts, so suing the hospitals is difficult at best. The hospital has a complaint system but since the doctors are not hospital employees, such complaint (which I did) will end up in the trash. Even the criminal way does not work now since the DAs office is so overwhelmed as a result of the impossible malpractice situation and that no attorney takes the case! I reached out now to the media. I got some immediate responses and I hope that the media will open avenues that we as “commoners” (PhD or not) cannot open.
Pingback: Serotonin, NIH, and Malpractice–totally clueless | cluelessdoctors