Why do doctors get paid when a lot of them don’t even listen to their patients’ needs or questions? This is a question that has plagued my mind ever since becoming disabled.
I have lived over half my life as a young disabled man, and I am sad to say that it has not been a pleasant experience, especially when it comes to seeing doctors.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever been to a doctor’s office where you are sitting in the room with the doctor explaining how you feel and the doctor just looks at you like you are a crazy robot from the future?
Or worse talking to your doctor about your condition and as soon as you say the word “pain” their eyes gloss over and from then on you are treated as a drug seeker?
This has happened to me more often than not. Doctor’s looking at this uneducated person sitting in front of them, asking them to do a job that they get paid a great deal of money to do, only to turn around and have them tell me how I am supposed to feel.
“WHAT? Well, thanks for letting me know how I am supposed to feel, now let me tell you the reality of my situation again!” is what I just want to scream at them sometimes.
Then the battle to get your doctor to listen to you ensues. The worst part is because of their P.H.D and intensive schooling a lot of them have simply put blinders on to the actual human being sitting in front of them.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of doctors who truly do care about their patients, and don’t put their paycheck in front of a patient’s needs.
But finding those doctors seems few and far in between. I myself have stopped arguing with doctors and started to find out the reason why doctors seem to be so stubborn or lack true compassion when it comes to my disability.
The reason why Doctors get paid the most and seem not to care about you.
Well, let’s face it. At the end of the day, all we really are is a walking paycheck to them. Sounds harsh, but that is how a lot of doctors make their patients feel when they leave their office.
This really applies to government-funded programs, like welfare, Medicare, and state health insurance.
If you are getting your medical needs paid through the government, chances are you are one of the free-for-all guinea pigs that get all the latest new drugs shoved down your throat.
Think about this last decade and all medications that you have been on. I know for me it seems like there is always some miracle drug that is supposed to fix it all.
Here is just a couple of those miracle drugs.
Paxil (became big in 2003)
This is the first medical drug that I can remember being prescribed to everyone in the early 2000’s. Originally this drug was prescribed for people who had major depression.
In 2001 this drug claimed to be very suitable for teens suffering from depression.
Later, this drug started to get prescribed for other things which eventually included helping with menopause conditions, such as night sweats and hot flashes.
The reality of this medication.
This medication was being pushed to teenagers who suffered from major depression and to every other patient who was on government-funded health insurance because it was what was covered and the doctor getting paid would also be compensated by the pharmaceutical company for recommending this drug. Win-win for good ole P.H.D.
The sad truth, this drug was the cause of a lot of suicides, especially in teens! Yes, the drug that was supposed to be for depression ended up pushing people to commit suicides.
Here is a nice list of documented suicides thanks to this miracle drug.
GlaxoSmithKline (the pharmaceutical company behind Paxil) was eventually pulled into a class action lawsuit (I remember the ad on television around 2008 or so) and was fined $3 billion dollars in 2012 for hiding study #329 about the other side effects that were caused by this drug.
This drug was also deemed useless after further research was done, and the only real effects it had on depression was more comparable to a placebo.
Yet, the doctors who get paid the most will often time have these types of drugs displayed all over their offices.
They will also always recommend them first as they are getting special commissions (law passed in 2013 that pharmaceutical companies have to release details about payments for doctors) for recommending these drugs to the public.
Tramadol (became big in 2009)
Aww, Yes. The next revolutionary miracle drug that was supposed to replace all opiate usage. No more Vicodin needed!
This drug was actually designed to have your body produce its own natural opiates. Great idea in theory.
Doctor’s loved this drug because it was a non-narcotic solution to pain management. No worry about the liability of drug addiction, and it was covered by all government-funded health care.
The reality of this medication.
This drug was nothing more than a step up from extra strength Tylenol with some serious side effects all similar to opiates.
Constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, all side effects.
WAIT! There is one more side effect that came with taking this drug that was the very thing doctors were trying to avoid with opiates. Addiction!
People got just as hooked on this prescription as they did with Vicodin and other opiate-related medications.
It wasn’t before long this medication was put on the narcotic’s release form that doctors make you sign for opiates and other serious pain medications warning you that, “This drug runs the risk of serious addiction and overdose can cause death”.
The D.E.A in 2014 even put this drug into the Schedule IV controlled substance act.
Gee…. Thanks, doc! What I always wanted. Extra strength Tylenol that has the same exact side-effects as Vicodin and just as addicting.
For more information on these drugs and other drugs that caused fatalities click here.
Gabapentin (today’s big miracle drug)
Today, Gabapentin is the newest and hottest miracle drug that doctors are handing out like candy.
The basic premise behind this drug is to dull your nerve ending receptors, ultimately reducing your pain level. This drug is used for pain management and seizures.
The reality of this drug
Honestly, the verdict is still out on this one, but I really just wanted to bring you up to date as what the latest drug of choice for doctors to get paid the most is, and to watch out in the near future as I am sure there will be a lawsuit against this drug as well.
I really don’t like how high of a dosage these doctors are willing to go with this drug either. I was on 2400 mg at one point in time with my doctor wanting to increase my dosage. TOO HIGH!
I have since told the doctor that I don’t want to take this drug anymore and have been through the weaning off process.
Don’t feel any real difference being on it versus being off it, but that is my personal option.
This is how doctors get paid the most….
It is all about the drugs! Big pharmaceutical companies paying doctors to endorse and recommend their drugs to the masses.
These doctors are not actually getting paid for prescribing the drug themselves as this is against the law, but they can get compensated for recommending a pharmaceutical company’s drug. That is why you always see displays of particular drugs in doctor offices.
Especially if you are low income or are on government-funded health care as doctors know that they can shake that insurance card above their heads and watch the money rain down.
This is a simple truth that doctors don’t want you to know, but it is something that you need to be aware of.
If you are curious if your doctor’s office is receiving payments from pharmaceutical companies you can click here to find out.
Some quick tips about drugs being prescribed and getting doctors to listen to you.
Learn more about the drugs that your doctor (or doctors) are prescribing to you. Researching the common effects these drugs can have on others may help you to avoid some nasty side-effects.
A lot of these drugs end up having devastating effects on particular demographics and if you don’t do your research you could suffer the consequences.
Along with doing research on the drugs you are being prescribed, you may also want to do research on your own disability as well.
Becoming educated and not taking doctors at face value has served me well. Just because they do have that P.H.D does not mean they know everything about everything.
I have actually made many suggestions to my doctors on how to help me with my disability. Some of which surprised the doctor themselves.
Another thing that I have discovered when dealing with doctors is that when you use the word “pain” this usually turns the doctor’s listening ears off.
Doctors are under a lot of pressure when it comes to prescribing painkillers and for that reason, they are prescribing them less and less.
So, when you go into the doctor’s office and say that you are suffering from a lot of pain doctors automatically get defensive and can possibly view you as a drug seeker.
This is not what you want. You want to be heard by your doctor and you want them to take your pain seriously.
What I have discovered in my years of seeing doctor after doctor is that they will respond a lot better when you specify the activities that your pain is preventing you from doing.
“Yeah doc, I am having a really hard time tending to my daily activities because of this particular pain. I am having trouble walking, getting around my house, working, etc.”
By specifying the ways that your pain is limiting your daily activities tends to open up the ears of the doctor a little more.
With all that in mind, the golden rule here is NEVER asking for painkillers directly if you suffer from chronic pain.
Asking for painkillers is a request that 9 times out of 10 will be denied just for the simple fact that doctors do get a lot of drug-seeking patients in their office.
Prescribing painkillers is a decision that your doctor has to make on their own. A lot of times they will try several other alternatives first. (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, etc.).
Here is where you can also make suggestions about controlling your pain. Again, don’t ask for painkillers directly, but I have found that suggesting pain patches (like a Lidoderm patch) is much better received as it is not a pill that you can take and become addicted to.
If they do go the route of prescribing low-level pills for your pain take the pills and then go back and tell them that it is just not working. You may have to do this a few times before they will prescribe you anything serious for your chronic pain.
If your doctor does not seem to be managing your pain well enough you have the right to seek a new doctor. I know it is a pain, but I have had to do it more often than not just to get my pain under control.
Like I said earlier in this article, there are a lot of good doctors out there that will listen to you. We as patients also need to be understanding that the decision is not always theirs in how they treat you.
Some clinics and insurance providers have policies that may prevent the doctor from being able to give you the treatment that you are seeking.
It is a tough world out there for them as well and I am sure that it does break some doctors’ hearts when they can’t help a patient that is truly in need.
Be open with them and they will be open with you. Ask questions as to why you may not be able to receive a particular treatment or if there is anything that you can do to accommodate their policies.
Some doctors may even suggest other clinics that you can go to that don’t have the same policies where you can get the treatment that you are seeking. It’s happened to me before.