Tell me if it makes any sense:
There are dozens and dozens of medical self-help books out there, telling us how to eat, how to exercise, how to beat this or that disease.
But what about a primer to the medical system?
How do we learn about doctors and navigating the health care-industrial complex? First, our parents. Later, our own experiences interfacing with the system. Our friends offer us advice. Our neighbors and co-workers tell us their recommendations regarding which doctors and alternative practitioners to see.
Should everyone have a cardiologist? Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. and many other places. If you live in Florida and you’re a Medicare patient, you’re likely to see at least three different types of doctors regularly.
My sister hurt her knee jogging. Does she need to see an orthopedist or would her primary care doctor be the right place to start?
My uncle’s PCP referred him to a urologist for some prostate symptoms he was having. What should he be prepared for when seeing the urologist? What questions should he be ready to ask?
We all have a sense of what doctors do, and why we go to see them. Yet some medical consumers do their own “shopping,” picking and choosing from among different specialties according to what body part ails them.
Other patients are very happy to be referred by a primary care doctor to specialists, but often without adequate communication as to what to expect from the specialty visit or why they’re being referred in the first place.
Medical GPS will help tell you where you’re situated, and give you some examples of how to think through your interaction with the health care system–whether you’re young or old, sick or well.
It’d be a consumer’s guide to doctors and hospitals, without going into specific details or reputations of doctors or health care institutions. If there was sufficient demand, of course, we could publish follow up volumes that are based on geography (e.g. “I live in the Southwest–where should I seek cardiac care?”), age or gender.
Tell me what you think. Is this a good idea or a repetitious and superfluous one? How would you improve it or make it meaningful?