Thursday, June 26, 2008

What doctors have to say for themselves

from this article

my comments are in blue

• I was told in school to put a patient in a gown when he isn't listening or cooperating. It casts him in a position of subservience.
--Chiropractor, Atlanta

(is this why pregnant moms are put into gowns?)

• The most unsettling thing for a physician is when the patient doesn't trust you or believe you.
--Obstetrician-gynecologist, New York City

(and yet... you continue to lie to your patients...)

• Taking psychiatric drugs affects your insurability. If you take Prozac, it may be harder and more expensive for you to get life insurance, health insurance, or long-term-care insurance.
--Daniel Amen, MD, psychiatrist, Newport Beach, California

(but doctors are VERY anxious to prescribe them, especially postpartum mothers)

• Avoid Friday afternoon surgery. The day after surgery is when most problems happen. If the next day is Saturday, you're flying by yourself without a safety net, because the units are understaffed and ERs are overwhelmed because doctors' offices are closed.
--Heart surgeon, New York City

(so better think twice when you're scheduling your c-section. All the more reason to take a closer look at the catastrophically high section rate in this country!)

• Not a day goes by when I don't think about the potential for being sued. It makes me give patients a lot of unnecessary tests that are potentially harmful, just so I don't miss an injury or problem that comes back to haunt me in the form of a lawsuit.
--ER physician, Colorado Springs, Colorado

(and THIS, ladies, is why you get so many tests when you're pregnant. NOT because they're necessary and save so many lives.)

• It's pretty common for doctors to talk about their patients and make judgments, particularly about their appearance.
--Family physician, Washington, D.C.

(WOW! Really makes ya wanna plop your wide butt onto that table and open your legs now, doesn't it?)

• In most branches of medicine, we deal more commonly with old people. So we become much more enthusiastic when a young person comes along. We have more in common with and are more attracted to him or her. Doctors have a limited amount of time, so the younger and more attractive you are, the more likely you are to get more of our time.
--Family physician, Washington, D.C.

(just in case you wanted another reason to hate growing older!)

• At least a third of what doctors decide is fairly arbitrary.
--Heart surgeon, New York City

("your pelvis is too small, your baby is too big, your baby is too little, you're overdue, you've gained too much weight, you need to be induced, you need a c-section, it's dangerous not to have an iv...)

60% of doctors don't follow hand-washing guidelines.
Source: CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

96% of doctors agree they should report impaired or incompetent colleagues or those who make serious mistakes, but ...

46% of them admit to having turned a blind eye at least once.
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine

94% of doctors have accepted some kind of freebie from a drug company.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chat with me!

If anyone is interested, I now have an AIM screen name: vbacwarrior.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hubris: A Master Class

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently issued a resolution that clearly shows their intent to legislate women out of home birth. The resolution reads, in part,

"RESOLVED, That our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.” (Directive to Take Action)"

and can be found here (click on Resolution 205)

Earlier this year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a "Statement on Home Births" that reads, in part,

"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterates its long-standing opposition to home births. While childbirth is a normal physiologic process that most women experience without problems, monitoring of both the woman and the fetus during labor and delivery in a hospital or accredited birthing center is essential because complications can arise with little or no warning even among women with low-risk pregnancies.
ACOG acknowledges a woman's right to make informed decisions regarding her delivery and to have a choice in choosing her health care provider, but ACOG does not support programs that advocate for, or individuals who provide, home births. Nor does ACOG support the provision of care by midwives who are not certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) or the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). "

I can (theoretically) understand obstetric and other medical organizations not being fully supportive of home birth. Could you imagine the blow to hospital revenue if even 50% of low-risk women chose home birth with a midwife as opposed to hospital birth with an OB?

What is absolutely outrageous to me is the hubris of these organizations! In their statement, ACOG says that they "acknowledge a woman's right to make informed decisions regarding her delivery and to have a choice in choosing her health care provider". Apparently, though, part of our "right to make informed decisions" does *not* include the right to choose home birth with a midwife.

BRAVO, AMA and ACOG for so condescendingly joining "Big Brother" and "Father Knows Best" !

I've heard so many women say, "they'll never do that" or "that will never happen" (passing legislation making home birth illegal). Don't you see, though, that it IS happening? These powerful organizations are joining forces and if they try hard enough, and women continue to sit on their "they'll never do it" duffs, it's GOING to happen.

I don't agree with "hospital birth for the masses", but I believe in the right to choose. Even if you don't think home birth is right for you, don't you agree that each mother should be free to choose for herself?

Two things I would ask that you consider doing are:

1. Contact your representative

2. Write to ACOG Government Relations at
Government Relations Staff
Mailing Address:
PO Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090-6920