The medical hierarchy shift

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters   

treeJWVein-3832108_1280Many years before I finally left a decades-long professional relationship with my family physician, I had observed distressing changes in her practice. I didn’t say anything about these changes at first. They began with her new all-cash medical aesthetics clinic (think: nonstop before-and-after Botox videos looping in every exam room).

She did not post an actual sign in her waiting room telling her longtime patients what we all knew: “I Am No Longer Interested in the Practice of Family Medicine”  – but everything about her behaviours clearly announced that she’d already moved on without telling us.     . Continue reading “The medical hierarchy shift”

Dr. Google in the E.R.

 by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters    November 25, 2018

Once upon a time, whenever the good citizens of Belgium experienced puzzling symptoms (let’s say, “twitching eyelids”), they would turn to Dr. Google to find out what might be causing the symptoms. But the Belgian government, concerned about false and scary health information online, came up with a public awareness campaign that warned: “Don’t Google It. Check a reliable source!” This also included a referral link to a government health site that could help to correctly answer questions about twitching eyelids and several other health issues.

This campaign was what patient activist Dave de Bronkart (aka ePatient Dave) bluntly described at the time as spectacularly wrong, insulting, misinformed and wrong-headed. Continue reading “Dr. Google in the E.R.”

Don’t worry your pretty little head over your health care decisions

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

My late mother, like many women of her generation, never even imagined telling her doctor that she wanted a second medical opinion, even if she suspected that her doctor’s treatment or advice was lacking. This means that my mother would rather die than get a second opinion. To ask for one would have been rude and insulting to her physician, and that could simply never ever happen.  Whatever her doctor said went unquestioned. He was the boss of her health care.

Many women today continue my mother’s preference for abdicating responsibility for one’s own healthcare. A study of women over 40 done by The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (called the LIPSTICK Survey) reported that only 10% of women surveyed knew their personal cardiac risk factors, versus 64% of women who know how much they weighed in high school Continue reading “Don’t worry your pretty little head over your health care decisions”