Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dark Arts


Our family friend is in medical school. He let it slip that there's a med school course—two courses, in fact—in Non-Treatment 101 and 102. It's is a well kept secret, like Dark Arts classes at Hogwarts.

As you will guess, these classes are inhumanities electives. Very popular.

Non-Treatment 101 teaches doctors how to keep a patient coming back for follow-up appointments and, without actually doing any healing, charging patients and insurance companies for a wide variety of "healing services." A good Non-Treater can keep you coming back for years without helping you at all. The very best can also sell you a lot of drugs you don't need and for which there is no generic equivalent.

Non-Treatment 101 is a prerequisite for the more advanced Non-Treatment 102. This class is complicated to explain (med school courses are for the superior of brain and often difficult for us laypeople to understand), but it's basically this: How long can you keep the patient sitting in the waiting room, then the exam room, before you deign to sell them ten minutes of your distracted time for several hundred dollars?

Non-Treatment 102 is popular because it's purely recreational. It doesn't create income for the physician or for the drug companies, but med students and doctors report emotional rewards: in a stressful profession it's pure joy to peer out into the waiting room and watch all those unhealthy, unhappy people check their phones, stare at the ceiling and try to get comfortable in the office chairs as their pain and suffering intensify.

Want to get an A+? Don't provide magazines.




18 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

When I first experienced waiting in the waiting room it was when I entered the world of HMO'S... I've learned to book appts. at the beginning of the day as well as ( if I have no choice) right at 2 when they come back at lunch.. there are times I've waited 45 in the office waiting for the doctor and I've found myself getting dressed and trying to escape.. somehow those nurses have a keen eye and good hearing when they see and hear footsteps other than the doctor's.
I blame it on the insurance companies since they're the ones who want the medical facilities to book patients every 20 min... Insurance ought to realize treating humans is not the same as an assembly line at Ford.

José Mendonça said...

Very interesting information. Nice composition in B&W too.

TheChieftess said...

Subsidized by the insurance companies....

TheChieftess said...

Great pic!!!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Chieftess is right on both comments... I assume u shot in natural light? nice mono affect.

William Kendall said...

Strangely the only time I've had waiting issues medically speaking have been in an emergency ward.

Bellis said...

That's very worrying. So when they complete those courses, do they take the Hypocritic Oath? I've been subjected to many things from 101, and a few from 102,like the No Magazines. What gets me is that I'm happily reading in the waiting room and then taken to the consulting room and left to sit without any reading matter except the lurid wall charts for half a hour or longer. Nowadays I take a magazine with me. My friend who worked with the doctors at the Huntington said to me that their advice to her was not to take the tests they say you need, not to come back for repeat visits, and not to take the medications if they don't make you better. It's often just their way of earning money.

Petrea Burchard said...

KBF, I've got a PPO. Same dif. Yes, natural light.

Thank you, José!

Chieftess, sometimes the doctor charges the insurance company outrageous amounts of money. The insurance company never pays it all. They have agreed-upon amounts so I don't get the cat and mouse game.

William, the reason you haven't encountered this is because you live in a country with socialized medicine!

Bellis, I take my own reading material, thank goodness.
I agree with your friend who worked with the doctors. WE know if we feel better or worse, WE know what works and what doesn't. WE have to be our own primary physician. I've had some good doctors, but recently I've had it up to here with a couple of bad ones.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Petrea: Anthem did away w/HMO's... PPO is what I have now.. More expensive.. They've been hit w/a class action suit for doubling the deductions: hospital, office and prescriptions...

Petrea Burchard said...

Yup. Let that be a lesson to them all.

altadenahiker said...

I think you nailed those classes.

llandudnopictures said...

Waiting is so unnecessarily time consuming!

Petrea Burchard said...

I agree!
When they realized I had disappeared they called and left a message. This morning I returned their call, to make sure my insurance company would not be charged. I had the satisfaction of declining to reschedule.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The entire system should be thrown out and started again from scratch. I was sent to a bone doctor in West Covina. WEST COVINA. Got there only to discover they couldn't treat me because they hadn't been authorized to give me an x-ray. WTF

I cried.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's what I'd do. Then I'd get ice cream.

Pretty weird that they sent you to a bone doctor and didn't authorize an x-ray. A bone density test IS an x-ray.

Ms M said...

True and scary, unfortunately.

Dina said...

Pretty depressing.

Petrea Burchard said...

It is, and it doesn't have to be this way. At my regular doctor's office I rarely wait. I also see a neurologist who has about 20 degrees on his wall, who never leaves me waiting for more than 5 minutes.

This problem is about greed and laziness on the part of some doctors, but not all.