The Good Doctor says you only get one body, so take care of it
The human body is like an automobile. Fill it with fuel and it will take you mile after mile as long as everything about it is running well. However, we tend to worry more about the cars than our own bodies.
Most men will show more concern about dripping motor oil than concern over lingering aches and pains.
Sometimes humans do not have aches, pains or any other health symptoms. As people age, it may happen that sudden death is the only sign that something was wrong.
Strangely, many men, often out of sheer machismo, try to ignore not feeling well and go to the emergency room only with chest pain or actual bleeding from the bowels, in the urine or during a cough or vomiting. In contrast, many a man will take his car into the shop if he even suspects that something is wrong.
At an emergency room, the doctor becomes a medical detective. The patient is anxious to talk about symptoms, but instead, is puzzled why so many seemingly unrelated questions are asked. Patients should place all their faith in the medical interviews because many unrelated facts reveal a lot about the patient and what might be going on.
Usually, no answers are given until lab results, u-ray reports and WKH SKyVLFDO HxDPLnDWLRn DUH fiWWHG together like a jigsaw puzzle. In times past, an excellent diagnostician was said to smell a disease upon entering a room. Physicians were proud of their ability to diagnRVH D VSHFLfiF GLVHDVHG KHDUW YDOYH or tuberculosis using a stethoscope and a thump on the chest. Today, the doctor adds u-rays, an ECHO of the heart and scans to the sounds coming down the stethoscope.
We’re lucky to live now and not many years ago. In the past, before CT scans and MRI machines, the doctor had to perform an explorDWRUy HxDP WR finG RXW wKDW wDV wrong, operating on the patient in the search for answers. Today, an exploratory procedure is rarely performed.
There are two types of patients who should have complete examinations: people who do not feel well for their age, and people who just want to know what is going on inside.
In either case, it is important to finG RXW LI D GLVHDVH LV SUHVHnW RU nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, in this ideal world of problem solving, if nothing is wrong, the insurance company may not pay for the tests.
There is something wrong with how we reward a healthy person. If no disease is found, although we’re relieved, we worry that the insurance company might conclude that there were no reasons to do the tests at their expense. A person almost wishes he or she were sick to justify the charges.
Looking at all this, we should realize that healthy people will help our country stay healthy. A healthy country will have less diabetes. There will be a longer life expectancy. As we go in a circle, a healthy society will help the economy. We will all help keep costs down when we know our health is good and our productivity is high.
We have a tendency to assume the United States leads the world in health. Some of the facts from the CIA might surprise you.
For health expenditures, the U.S. ranks second in the world, yet our maternal mortality rate (number of mothers dying per 100,000 live births) is only 136th out of 183 countries in the world. In infant mortality, the U.S. is 1T4th among nations, and at life expectancy at birth we’re 50th. The number of youths aged 15 to 24 who are unHPSORyHG finGV XV 66WK FRPSDUHG to other major countries.
Dr. Milton Friedman can be reached at email@example.com.