I am getting more and more discouraged about the state of the medical care in the U.S. Just this last week, I have been told of three instances of incredibly bad medical care. The first was a long-time friend who is in her 80's and was having cardiac problems. She can afford the best possible medical care, but certainly did not get it. Even though she was seen by several doctors in two different San Francisco hospitals, she said that "None of the doctors got closer than the end of my hospital bed!"
The second call I received was from a woman in her seventies who was having cardiac symptons and her internist had prescribed high doses of blood pressure medicine. When the woman told me the range of her pressures, I said, "But those blood pressures are within normal limits." Accordingly, the woman changed to another internist who stopped the blood pressure medicine, but did nothing about the woman's rapid heart beat nor referred her a cardiologist. I convinced my friend that she should see one and she called to thank me for the referral. The cardiologist was concerned and has scheduled the appropriate cardiac tests.
The third instance was something I had never heard a parent or patient say. This was the case of a six-year-old with cardiac problems who was being seen in a children's hospital. The parents were not pleased with the first doctor who had seen their daughter, but on a repeat visit said they were pleased with the new doctor because " He asked us questions! The other doctor took no history and asked no questions. Unbelievable!