I’m a healthy guy and hardly have the need to see a doctor. Yet, I have had a persistent and utterly minor issue that, as I learned today, could have led to serious health complications up to death. I’ll tell you the story and add some analysis or introspection at the end.
For some background: One fine night around six years ago or so, I went to a night club. There, one woman wanted to get my attention and stepped on my foot. She happened to crack the nail of my right big toe with her high heels. I didn’t pay much attention even though it looked a bit nasty: there was blood under the nail but as I did not notice any pain during the day, I did not bother to have this checked out. I can’t say that I pay much attention to my toenails. Down there, there isn’t a lot happening as they grow very slowly. I shrugged it off when, months later, I noticed some nail fungus, as a likely consequence of that bitch cracking my toenail because the crack was the epicenter of the fungal infection.
I did some reseach online afterwards. However, any medical condition you might suffer from never looks even remotely as bad as on pictures you find online, which seem to largely stem from people with heavily compromised immune systems. On sites like WebMD, the intended effect of such shock pictures might be to get people to go see a doctor in the absurdly expensive US healthcare system. Yet, the effect such pictures had on me was that I just didn’t take the nail fungus seriously. It’s not a serious issue anyway.
About two years ago, though, I finally had it checked out because my expectation that the nail fungus would eventually just go away didn’t come to pass. I got a combined treatment of anti-bacterial nail polish and oral medication: take some pills for 90 days and apply the nail polish once a week for about two years. Progress was really good and when I came in for a check-up, the very same doctor prescribed the same pills again. In fact, she gave me a prescription so that I could get another pack for an extra 90 days if I thought I needed it.
That was about half a year ago. As that toenail does not yet look entirely healthy (I’m about 95% there, though), I went for another checkup, but this time I had a different doctor. He said that I’m now at the point where I can just let it grow out as the toenail looks, apart from some very minor parts, completely healthy. Then he went through my medical history and was quite surprised that my previous doctor had not administered any blood tests at all. I was told that the medication I had received takes a serious toll on the liver and that some people have died of it. Thus, according to protocol, you need to do some preliminary screenings to determine whether you’re in good enough health and, if so, you need to come in every six weeks for follow-up checks during the 90 day treatment period to check if your liver is holding up. I was not overly pleased to hear that my previous doctor just put me on that treatment while ignoring protocol.
This would make for an anecdote regarding male and female doctors, where my first (female) doctor might have thought that I look healthy and therefore she doesn’t need to follow protocol whereas the second (male) doctor would go by the book. That would probably be a bit short-sighted because male doctors aren’t immune from making mistakes. Still, I have a hunch that sex probably plays a role. Please don’t misinterpret this as me wanting to find blame in women. I think it’s not entirely implausible to hypothesize that female doctors are better at intuitively assessing the health of male patients than male doctors are, simply because women evolved to select men based on good health and its direct and indirect manifestations. The opposite doesn’t hold true as women are very adept at manipulating their appearance, which boils down to using false markers of health and fertility. As interesting as those questions may be, there won’t be any funding for such studies before China or Russia liberate us from our SJW-occupational globalist governments. Corona-chan is on our side, though.
Instead of making this post about sex differences, I want to draw your attention to something else: your life could potentially be at risk without you being aware of it. I tend to question authority. I think that our politicians are, by and large, a bunch of inept, corrupt buffoons, and our public intellectuals mostly come from a leftist circle-jerk. It’s quite obvious that the talking heads in politics and the media have rather mediocre mental facilities. On the other hand, why would you assume that, for instance, a cashier does not follow a routine when swiping the groceries you want to buy? Similarly, your dentist might have treated hundreds of root-canals. Yours should be a routine as well. The same, of course, applies to doctors. You just assume that they have seen so many patients that their job consists of little more than following routines. In principle, this is true, but what if your doctor does not follow the established routine (“protocol”)?
The upshot of this is that on the rare occasion that I’m going to see a doctor, I can’t trust that fellow either. The older I get, the more I get the impression that more or less everybody is just phoning it in. Your doctor may even casually jeopardize your health, and not out of a sadistic desire to harm you but instead just because they don’t care enough. This was an interesting life lesson for me. In an alternative timeline, I have died of liver failure already.
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18 thoughts on “Your Doctor Might Casually Kill You”
And there is a term for this: iatrogenic/iatrogenesis!
Thanks for letting me know! I did not know this term. Here’s the Wikipedia entry for those interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iatrogenesis
Lol was going to share the wikipedia link but I know it’s not your favorite site. 😉 First read about it in the Black Swan by Nassim Taleb.
I’m not sure exactly the number – but I’m pretty sure medical error is a top 10 leading cause of death.
I view Wikipedia very critically when it comes to politics, history, or current affairs, but for topics that are not on the mind of the SJW crowd, it’s a good resource. Of course, you can be certain that if iatrogenesis ever becomes a big issue, for instance if it is found that minorty and female doctors disproportionally cause patient deaths, it won’t take more than an hour before some SJW task force sets the record straight by maliciously editing the corresponding Wikipedia page.
And I’d be widowed at 25. Wtf :'(
Too late for April Fools, eh?
Did the second doctor end up testing your liver enzymes? If they were elevated and you could prove the initial doctor didn’t follow proper protocol, I wonder if you could have a lawsuit on your hands? I imagine it would be enough to constitute as having caused harm.
I’ll just say that as someone that works in the medical field, you are your own best doctor. Sure, there are certain things out of our control that require medical expertise, but I’ve seen surgeons butcher people to the point of no return, for example. The same one has repeatedly ruined people’s guts. It’s not pretty.
I remember a while back sitting in on a Davinci manned colectomy. The surgeon was female. She was very inappropriate and ill mannered, like how you’d expect your mate to speak when drunk at a bar. She commented how she was nauseous and ‘about to barf’ from being hungover. Imagine going into that kind of procedure knowing that tidbit of information beforehand.
In the US I imagine I could easily sue. Here in Europe, and in Sweden in particular, this isn’t really done. It’s more likely that I would get fired from my job under false pretenses in response to trying to ruffle some feathers than that doctor is to face any kind of professional consequences.
In general, the mentality here is to avoid all procedures that are not urgently necessary, which entails that a simple treatment you neglect today could lead to a much bigger issue in the future. Your doctor may even spend some time trying to talk you out of certain procedures, which is part of the reason that there is medical tourism from Sweden to other countries. The underlying issue is that the healthcare system is under severe strain, and has been for many, many years. Thus, doctors want to actively keep you off waiting lists. In other countries, the incentives are quite the opposite.
Your anecdotes are crazy. I’m not surprised, though. Sometimes, scandals make it all the way into the papers here as well, but for that to happen, a doctor has to mess up countless times or do something so scandalous that you can’t impossibly cover it up, like some (female, foreign-born) doctor in the U.K. who decapitated a baby during delivery. She has not even been permanently banned from the profession.
this is why you should take your health in your own hands , or atleast do your own research as well in addition to doc approach.
also you could probably got away with just local anti
infection agent without swallowing anything.
with infection you dont want to wait at all, the sooner the better and medications are riddled with side effects.
I didn’t take this seriously enough. That doctor even told me that nail fungus is completely harmless. To be fair, it is, if you are in good health. Yet, you probably don’t want to let an infection sit untreated for years.
That link is insane!
It said that it was already pre-established that the child was to be a caesarean delivery. Guess the doc didn’t get the memo.
Now consider that this is the level of misconduct it takes to get into the media. This was also only reported in the yellow press. The mainstream media most likely would have reported this had the doctor been a white male, though. In any case, I do not want to know how much butchery happens in hospitals that never gets reported.
Here’s another great example of some professional medical women. You may have heard of this case in Virginia back in 2015:
“After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated patient, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” she was recorded saying.
I think some of the audio recording is still available somewhere.
By the way, you might not be surprised by how raunchy some of the young female nurses I work with can be. Openly talking about their sex lives, the guys they would fuck in the building or have fucked, discussing penises etc.
That’s also a crazy story.
I know about nurses. There is a bit more to unpack here, so I’ll make an Open Post on it on my other blog.
That is bizarre. I have had the exact same problem for nearly a decade. The nail never fell out even though many doctors had predicted that would happen.
All the female doctors that I saw recommended that anti fungal medication. I did some research and read a few horror stories online about the potential damage those drugs can do to your liver. I completely avoided taking them and persisted with topical treated but to no avail.
Interestingly, I saw a specialist doctor (male) last week and he gave me a new perspective. According to his stats, those anti fungals are very rarely effective anyway. Also, there was a high likelihood that the infection would come back even if they happened to work. He has advised me to get the nail surgically removed which is probably the best option at this point.
If you read the book Peak by Ericsson, he says that most doctors actually get worse the further they are from medical school.
This is because doctors have very bad feedback on their job.
A programmer can easily see if his code works – he just has to compile it.
A gymnast can easily see if she’s doing the movement right – she has coaches and/or video providing near instant feedback, as well as sensory feedback (knowing what a good movement feels like).
A musician can easily tell if he’s playing well – he just has to listen.
A pastor/priest can easily tell if his sermon is moving the audience – just has to look at them.
For a doctor to tell if a treatment is good, the patient would pretty much have to come back regularly, and ideally the doctor would have to treat many people with similar diseases to quickly find the best practice.
This is not the case, and as such, most doctors suck at healing.
(personally, I’ve actually had worse luck with male doctors than female ones, but this could be just sampling error).
Isn’t people dying (or not getting better) feedback enough?
I’d say that is pretty good feedback. 🙂
Besides their own personal evaluation of whether their medical practices work, medicine is a field with plenty of high-quality research being performed. Even in those cases where patients don’t return for regular visits a good physician will base his practice on solid scientific knowledge.
Physicians aren’t perfect, nor is medical science (or any other body of knowledge), medicine is a very well-developed field. One of the main reasons that life expectancy in the developed world has increased so much while our health habits and weight have worsened is our advanced medicine.
Despite not being a cure-all, medicine is a much better bet than the unscientific alternative medicine garbage that is out there, and the average physician is able to treat most common maladies in an effective manner. When they aren’t, well, that’s what specialists are for.