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Views and opinions: Doctor’s insight lends good perspective to health data
 

 

The Doctor Will See You Now by Cory Franklin, M.D.

c.2018, Academy Chicago

$16.99/$22.99 Canada

271 pages

The appointment was made months ago. That gave you plenty of time for anticipation, to think about whatever news you might get. To ponder the discomfort. To think about health care in general, while you sit in your physician’s waiting room.

And if you take The Doctor Will See You Now by Cory Franklin, M.D., you’ll have a lot more to think about while you’re waiting.

So you’ve walked in and taken a seat. Are you in a hospital clinic or private practice room? Franklin says it’s likely the former; federal rules and regulations have made it “prohibitively expensive” for anyone to start a private practice.

That you’re in a larger clinic setting means it’s likely the facility uses computerized records. That’s good, and it’s bad. Studies show that computerized record use sometimes results in less face time and personal attention from caregivers.

There are also issues of medical privacy involved, the strength of which wanes as computerized record use increases and Big Tech dips its toe into medical recordkeeping and research.

Ah, and studies. Needless to say, they’re often flawed; they may ignore the very young or the very old, or even half the population (women). Read them, try to understand them, but take them at face value. Most important, don’t use them as an excuse to skip your appointment or any tests you need.

Overall, be your own patient advocate. If you feel overwhelmed, take someone with you to help make sense of what’s going on – and that goes double for a hospital admission, ER visit or if you have cancer, and especially on holidays and weekends.

Know how to tell a charlatan’s advice from real medical knowledge, and don’t put blind faith in what you see on TV. Remember that medicine is a business, and it sometimes expands into questionably ethical territory.

And finally, remember that whatever happens outside in the world affects what’s inside your body.

ACA, Obamacare, insurance rates, Medicare, Alphabet Plans – it’s enough to make your head spin, which is why you’ll appreciate reading about a physician’s point of view in The Doctor Will See You Now.

At first look, though, this book may appear to be a lot of common-sense stuff. You already know about flawed studies, questionable diseases and HIPAA rules broken, but author Cory Franklin helps sort things out, even though his observations sometimes get messier as the facts pile up in subsequent chapters.

Happily, those sections that delve deeply into serious matters are separated by lighter thoughts. Franklin does a wonderful job enlightening readers about unsung and little-known heroes and heroines in medical history, and he lauds them in words that leave no doubt as to whom we owe our health and gratitude.

Be aware that this bandage-ripping book may raise your blood pressure with its dip into politics and controversy, but you owe it to yourself to be educated. Especially if you value your health (or need to be healthier), The Doctor Will See You Now is a book with which you should make an appointment.

 

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 14,000 books.

9/14/2018