Money, Medicine, and Music

        I guess I am old, nostalgic, or both, but sometimes I do miss the “good old days.”  Not that I want to turn my back on technology.  In fact, I am a most willing participant in high tech, as my 20/20 vision after modern retinal detachment surgery will attest.

     I do wish we could somehow partake of all the fine advances but not have turned medicine into a business.  There was more satisfaction in it being a healing art.

        I used to go out on house calls with my Dad, and have made a few myself.  Folks who believe they know a patient by the paper they keep are so naive.  The impact of sitting at someone’s kitchen table and sifting through the array of pills from different Docs the patient “thinks” they might be taking is powerful.  Everyone trying so mightily to pass rules to govern human behavior needs to make a few house calls before they get so dadburn high and mighty as to their perceived importance. 

        I didn’t make this house call with Dad, but once he went up in the country to check on a woman who had a belly ache for a few days, and ended up doing a STAT delivery.  A few years later, when the child went to school, they realized in the confusion there had been no birth certificate filed, so they did a little paper work and life went on.  (I can’t even begin to explain what a bureaucratic crime that would be nowadays.)  I assure you, though, none of that paperwork made that child one ounce better off in this world.  It fascinates me how importance the folks in charge attach to their paper trail rules, though.

        The other thing Dad realized was the family had forgotten to pay for the house call, but they were most willing to settle up- the charge was five dollars!

        We used to have an old Doc in town who had an interesting take on all this.  At Hospital Staff meetings, regardless of what problem was being addressed, he always said, “I don’t exactly what’s wrong here, but it’s got something to do with money.” 

        Now that we have all these political and executive types making millions of dollars for mis-micromanaging the most complex details of another human being’s life, I have to agree. 

        Maybe all those type folks should do house calls for a few years before we put them in charge.  But, I know that will never happen.  As old Doc said years ago, what is wrong here has something to do with money.

        I am off today, and going to play a gig at the nursing home.  Don’t tell anyone I am doing it, though, or someone will dream up a bluegrass music nursing home acquisition and validation form (BGMNHAVF) that must be completed in triplicate before commencing to play.  It would ruin the whole experience, and I would hate to be out of compliance- they might not let me go again until I took some kind of course on  the variety of musical tastes of the nursing home population as defined by some obscure government study.

        I promise you too, that the cat wanting the form filled out can’t play a note.

                                              -Dr. B

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8 Comments on “Money, Medicine, and Music”

  1. bart Says:

    Dr. Bibey,

    Thanks for you comment on laissezfairehealthcare.com. I agree with you – how do you stay focused on “doing no harm” while not shunning what could be legitimate technological advances. I think lawyers face the same conflicts – billing by the hour when their job is to resolve things as quickly and simply as possible.

    – (not a Dr.) Bart

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Bart,
    It is hard, isn’t it? About the only way I know is to weigh out the risk vs. benefit the best I can and try to do for my patients what I really believe I would do for my family.
    I have run into a few lawyers along the way in depositions. Contrary to sterotypes of doc vs. lawyers, I found them to proceed in a similar fashion.
    The minority in both professions who do not conduct themselves that way cause much trouble for all of us.
    Enjoyed your site. Keep checking in.

    -Dr. B

  3. RubyShooZ Says:

    My lawyer hugged me when we were done with going over the technicalities of writing a will. I was just plain shocked. I didn’t think it was standard treatment for lawyers to hug their clients but this was a very nice feller.

    There sure are some advantages of living in small towns.

    Peace today and always love.

    ~ RS ~

  4. drtombibey Says:

    The last lawyer I ran into was during a deposition re: a car wreck. He didn’t exactly hug me, but he was honest and ethical. Sometime I’ll encode those stories into bluegrass fiction.

  5. bobleckridge Says:

    Oh how right you are, Dr B. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get with folk who pontificate about the best way to practice medicine and what they claim is either proven or unproven and therefore right or wrong. They’ve typically never seen a patient in their lives to try and hear and understand another person’s suffering and do their best to help. What happened to compassion in planning? Did it ever get a look in?
    There’s an English philosopher called Mary Midgely. In her book, Wisdom, Information and Wonder, she says “One cannot claim to know somebody merely because one has collected a pile of printed information about them” OK, she speaks funny, but you get the point!
    -Dr Bob

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. Bob,
    You know what they say, “Half of what they teach you in Medical School is wrong- we just don’t know which half.”

    -Bibey

  7. RubyShooZ Says:

    Dr. Bob, Now I’m going to have to do a bit of googling to find out more about Mary Midgely. I already have actually and she’s a very interesting lady and that search has taken me on a tangent I may never return from!

    Dr. Tom, I had a suspicion that’s what the medical school had said. Thank you for being real.

    Peace always,

    ~ RS ~

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Lawd, Lawd, Miss Ruby. If you hang around this blog long enough, and check out our doc from Scotland too, then you’re gonna learn all the doctor secrets on both sides of of the pond.

    -Dr. Bibey


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