The Confused Patient
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
The stress of a second surgery has me reeling inside. As usual, however, no-one on the outside can tell.
There are many things that I could and should be doing. Previewing for school, applying for jobs and practicing code. I know what I need to do, but it's difficult to concentrate. All is not well. Within a month, I will likely undergo a second surgery. It's a decision that I've been dreading - and postponing - for months. The fact that the first operation was a failure magnifies the burden of this one even more - to err is human, to make the same mistake twice is stupid. This time needs to be perfect.
Yet, for a patient in the healthcare industry, there are no certainties. Information is monopolised by doctors, and its dissemination is clouded by counteracting incentives. This lack of transparency means that patients, whose very lives are on the line are, in the best of circumstances, not fully informed. Even our surgeon in the US, whose prices are exorbitantly high, will not give clear assurances of anything.
Then again, how are we to compare doctors when every patient faces different circumstances? By there industry prominence perhaps, but this is very subjective. Without a large and diverse sample size of reviews, results are prone to bias. By their publication success? An indication of theoretical, but not necessarily technical expertise. Years of experience? More is certainly better than less - or is it? As yet, there is no clear guideline to when a surgeon is too old to operate. Self-monitoring can only lead to inflated egos at the expense of a patient's livelihood.
Protection under medical law is not enough, patients want to avoid problems rather than be compensated for them after the fact. My health, after all, is priceless.