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Dr. Rob Tells It Like It Is

By June 2, 2009

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Short 'n sweet today, because someone else has done the heavy lifting...

Dr. Rob Lamberts is one of the (few) American primary care physicians who truly does "get" the patient perspective. He writes a blog called Musings of a Distractible Mind. If you want to understand just how distractible, check out his Golden LLama Awards.

I'm not usually a fan of what doctors advise to patients to help them navigate the healthcare system. In fact, I am their harshest critic. Despite the fact that I know many provide that kind of advice out of the goodness of their hearts, too often I believe that provide that advice merely because they believe that telling the patient how to behave in their offices will simply make THEIR lives easier.

Put another way -- when physicians tell patients how to navigate their care, it's a little like the doctor-fox telling the chicken-patients how to behave in the henhouse.

However -- Dr. Rob is one of the rare exceptions. I'm a fan. And this is why: His post called "A Letter to Patients" will help you better understand that doctors aren't happy with the current system either. AND, he provides some actionable advice to truly help us.

Spend some time with Dr. Rob's blog. You'll be glad you did.

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June 2, 2009 at 9:54 am
(1) Dr. Rob says:

Thanks very much for your kind words. I would be interested in what you think about today’s post. I rant a little about a patient that doesn’t want to come in despite my prescribing meds. It is frustrating for physicians to be expected to give service when patients don’t want to come in. We are not unreasonable in expectations, but there is a limit to what is good practice.

Again, thanks for this post.

June 9, 2009 at 2:29 am
(2) Kristy says:

Dr. Rob,

I read the article you wrote and it was excellent. As for the issue of the patient that doesn’t want to come in, one reason that I know of (from having talked to some others who have said this) is that they are embarrassed to tell the doctor what’s wrong. A number of them are afraid of being judged any way for whatever decisions that they make.

Another reason (and this is a biggie especially with the economy as it is) for not wanting to come in is not having the money or no health insurance. When I run in to people like this that I know need to be evaluated by a doctor I will tell them about checking with the city health department to see if they have a free health clinic or women’s health clinic that can evaluate the situation further for them.

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