To begin, I just want to say, that finding a good dedicated family doctor these days is like trying to find a needle in a haystack or a gem in the rough.
Many years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was post menopausal and 54 years old when I saw signs of toes started to twist and fingers starting to curl. I immediately went to see my family doctor. Dr. Saba, and I mention his name because, he was a doctor dedicated to his profession. He was our family doctor from the time I was yea high to a grasshopper.
Dr. Saba was all a family needed. He was a doctor who did everything and was very good at it. A dedicated Doctor to his patience and to his profession. Unfortunately, he retired and we were left seeking and trying to find a doctor, who was his equal but, he was equal to none.
Today what we have is a mass of Family doctors and Specialists. As the Octopus sits with tendrils out, each tendril holds all kinds of doctors that specialize in just one thing of the anatomy. From your hair to your toes, and everything in between. If you are pretty healthy, I would say that the Specialist is key to health.
As for the family doctor, they try to find something to take needless tests and take up your time until they find anything to tie onto. At last they are needed for routine checks and colds but more importantly referrals to a Specialist. Especially if the Specialist is not a provider listed by your insurance company, that you want to see. This makes it twice as tough.
Some family doctors are good, granted, but for most, not. They continue to send you to hospitals and tests and if you ask why? They say, “Preventative Medicine.” In my opinion, I call it a “Money Machine.”
If you haven’t any diseases, and you ask a question to your family doctor, off you go to a specialist. Family doctors can’t help you, you must see “The Specialist” and the family doctor will make a referral for you. O.K. we go see the specialist.
I have had Specialists tell me they don’t know why I was there after an exam. I had one doctor who actually sent me to a Specialist for a bone marrow. After I had taken my clothes off, and lying on a gurney with a sheet over me. The doctor told me to get dressed and said this is not necessary. I was just stupefied. I didn’t know what was going on. Not only a waste of time, but, so expensive. I left and to this day, I don’t know what that was about but my take it was for billing the insurance company. This happened many years ago and to this day, it’s just a mystery because before I could ask what this is about, the doctor left the room and I didn’t see him again.
I am not talking for all doctors but, there are some doctors who prescribe medication for the diseases they think you have. Cha-Ching! I talk from experience. The first thing they do is give you a form to fill out. The Soup to Nuts form I call it. Along with medical they delve into the personal and over the line they go. They pick and choose something you had taking care of years ago by a Specialist and want to re create it. I have had family doctors that take the same tests by my Specialist and ask me to go and have them done again. This is ludicrous. I called my Insurance company on one doctor and found out later she was taken off their providers list.
Doughnut Holes You Can’t Eat!
Now the insurance you have as a Senior, charges a fee that you pay every month plus co-pay and out of pocket. Seniors also have a limited amount they can charge to the insurance company. First the “doughnut hole” kicks in and then “catastrophic.” This means, that when you have reached these allowed amounts, which isn’t very much, you pay out of your own pocket. If the medication is too high a cost, and it cannot be afforded, hate to say it, but a Senior, probably would go without their medication.
In my opinion, we shouldn’t have co-pays, doughnut holes or catastrophic when we pay a monthly charge to have insurance. We as Seniors who are on a fixed income should start getting in touch with our congress to change this.
You receive a small cost of living raise and in comes the insurances and takes it and more. Not to mention searching and searching for a family doctor who is not money oriented. Like a needle in a haystack. In my opinion.
I had one doctor that was giving me medication that brought down my iron and to this day, if I wasn’t smart enough to seek other opinions, I wouldn’t be here today. You must, and I quote from a very smart doctor who I found after many many months of searching said “Listen to your body.”
My doctor’s name is Dr. Alice Williams.
I have had this doctor, who specializes in Rheumatoid Arthritis, for 10 years. I travel about an hour
to see her on appointment and she is, like I said before, worth every mile.
If you have R/A and find you are not satisfied with the treatment you are now receiving,
I highly recommend Dr. Williams, and here is her info:
Alice Williams MD
165 Mill St.
Leominster MA 01453-3289
Dept Phone 978-466-3333
As mentioned, she is a doctor who specializes in Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is the Gem in the rough I referred to earlier. Now to go on.
Family Doctors, my take, do physicals, flu shots, referrals and treating the common cold. Even having a cold this past winter went sour on me with a doctor I had to change. A real pain in the rear. I called this doctor, I think she was number 4 on my list, for some help. I explained my symptoms but Of-course she said I would have to come and see her to prescribe something.
By the way, I wrote a book, “Cha-Ching A Medical Nightmare”. If interested, it can be purchased through Amazon.com. Not pricey but a good read. It’s on Kindle or you can download it on your pc. Here’s the link:
To go on:
This doctor did not have a high rating online, but I figured I would give her a chance. Coughing and sneezing in the waiting room was just horrible. People were looking at me, and one woman said, “Wow! You have a terrible cold” and she wasn’t even a doctor. I just shook my head and tried to hold back a sneeze.
The wait was about fifteen minutes, and I was called and led to a small room. The doctor finally came in. This doctor was overweight and looked like she didn’t take good care of her own body how could she take care of others. As I looked at her, I wondered if this would be my last visit with this particular doctor.
She came in and sat down. She never looks at you or speaks to you but keeps her eye on her laptop computer and starts to type. She is very quick, asks how do you feel and checks quickly my mouth and ears. She then gets up says she will prescribe something and off she goes. Bed side manners – NONE! This doctor, prescribed a medication for people who had high blood pressure and wanted me to take it. I never had, or have, high blood pressure.
Here, Take Some Pills!
Needless to say this doctor was not a good fit for me, and it looks like another visit and bogus medication was part of the money game, Cha-Ching! This type of money game, can hurt you. Be aware of what doctors prescribe and check and re-check before you take any medication.
Your Pharmacists is a good source and that’s why I go to Walgreen’s. They check all medications you’re on to see what is safe and what is not. Many Pharmacies don’t check and that can be detrimental to your health. If the Pharmacist is lacking in her evaluation of what can be mixed or cannot be mixed as far as medications, that too can be detrimental to your health.
I took it on my own and bought some cough medicine over the counter and stayed with the Tylenol until I found another family doctor.
This is my fifth primary doctor in 18 months. So far so good.
To sum up, be diligent and check out everything you are told and everything you are told to do. If in doubt and something doesn’t feel right then something is probably wrong. Seek a second or third opinion. Angie’s List may also be of help. You can find reviews on Family Doctors or Specialists in your area. Also, here’s a good article I found on her site: “5 Tips For Finding The Right Doctor.”
If you do have R/A are looking for a great Specialist in Massachusetts, I will try to reveal her name as soon as I can legally. I travel one hour to see this doctor and she is worth every mile. Stay healthy and have a great life.