I am an emergency physician. I have the best job in the world, for me anyway. I get to take care of people at the extremes of ages and the extremes of illnesses. I am also board-certified in pediatrics. After 5 exhaustive years of residency, I have been in practice for 12 years. During that time, I have watched a nation take a closer look at how it is spending its health care dollars. While there is a lot being debated on the federal and state levels, I believe an additional approach may be helpful. I believe that if you knew about medicine what I know, you could significantly alter how you interact with the health care industry. This not only can improve your health, it can also save you money.
I have some secrets I want to share with you in this blog. They aren’t my secrets. They’re our secrets. Those of us in health care are in the club. You see, we tend to know when our own health needs urgent attention and what can wait a couple of days. But, we just haven’t taken the time to educate you about when you need us. I think as a society, health class in high school failed us.
My goal, simply stated: teach you about your body and common illnesses so you know if and when you need to see a doctor. It’ll be like a med school mini-boot camp. Or, like all the stuff you wish you remembered from health class, as well as some stuff your high school teacher didn’t know to teach you.
I’m going to teach you the basics of how your body works, the essentials of common illnesses and injuries, and hopefully improve your knowledge so the next time you see a doctor, you can be more equipped to participate in the health care decisions you face.
What I’m not is a substitute for seeing a doctor. I can’t diagnose you over the phone, much less over the world wide web. On here, I’m never telling you to not see a doctor. Only you can make that decision based on your symptoms and how you feel. The worse you feel, or the more worried you are, the more important it is to be seen right away.
As we take this journey, you’ll pick up some vocabulary along the way. If something’s not clear, just post comments and I’ll respond as best I can.
What one thing, if you had known it in the past, would have saved you a visit to your doctor or emergency department?