An elderly woman goes to see her geriatric physician. She has multiple medical issues for which she is being treated and is on many medications, some of which make her throw up in the morning, but she can’t figure out on her own which medications are making her ill.
Her doctor, after giving her the news that he doesn’t know how to help her, abruptly opens the door to leave stating that she has already taken up too much of his time. She is left alone in the room with no plan for forward action other than “See another specialist.”
This woman worked hard until she retired at 62. She lives on a fixed income. Medicare barely covers the costs of her regular doctor visits and even less of the cost to see a specialist.
Almost all medical conditions are relegated to specialists today. Hardly any health concern is considered general care. She cannot afford to see another specialist.
To make matters worse, the physicians do not communicate well with one another, so the elderly woman’s care is fragmented and difficult for her to integrate into a cohesive plan.
Insurance won’t cover alternative medical health care. So the woman is left confused and worse off than she was before seeing a doctor.
This is health care in America. Land of the free, the brave and those left to suffer their old age poorly cared for by professionals too busy to offer the real medicine: hope.
Can we change this?