Dehumanizing and monetizing medicine
“Is there any discount for doctor?” I said, “I am a doctor.” I could see he was surprised and then looked at my medical record lying in front of him.
“Oh, ya, Doc,” he looked embarrassed. He had just explained to me the anatomy of the eye using an eye model and even asked me to touch the fovea–the dimple part on retina. Of, course, I have known it, probably, since before he was born. “I am sorry, Doc. There is no discount for vitrectomy, medicine, and hospitalization. Only the doctor’s fee.” I felt gloomy thinking how to get US$5000.
I had the same experience with an ophthalmologist in Manado two months ago. He also gave me lecture on the patophysiology of eye diseases and was surprised and embarrassed when I told him I was a doctor, confirmed by “retired doctor” on the chart in front of him. Maybe it is not their fault; my dark and dirty skin, my dirty shorts and T-shirt, and my flipflops do not indicate my MD.
Most doctors are not interested in knowing their patients; the specialists are only interested in the body part of the patients that they specialize in. They forget the golden rule of medicine that taking a good anamnesa (history of illness including occupation) is more than half of medical procedure. In my case, for example, my outdoor life in the forest, garden, and on the ocean might have exposed me to occupational hazard upon my eyes: intense ultraviolet could burn my retina, dust, soil, thorn or insect land onto cornea, or the machete or other tools hit my eye balls.
Dehumanizing and monetizing medicine has been a subject of medical sociology for years but it seems becoming worse. The ophthalmologist was obviously not enthusiastic answering my question when the procedure could be carried out if I have the money. He realizes that he will not get any money for doing it because of medical ethics: treat your medical colleague as your brother and no charging included in its application. Both of them did not charge me for their service, however.
There is an anecdote about disinterested specialist. A gynecologist has trouble to remember the names of his patients sitting in front of his desk, but no trouble when he looks at their ‘vertical lips’ without underwear.on the examination couch.