Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Are you entitled to anything from your doctor?
avatar
Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
Our own Dr. Rod Moser posted this interesting story on his blog not too long ago about a mother seeking treatment for her child. She seemed to feel like she was entitled not only to a specific type of care but to FREE care .

Give it a read, and tell us what you think.

Are we entitled to anything specific from our health care providers? Is there ever a time when we should expect care for free?
Reply
 
avatar
SoCalSuz responded:
I don't think I'm entitles to free care - just like I wouldn't want a doctor demanding something free from me.

But I think all patients deserve a well run doctor's office, emergency room or other health care facility.

Waits over an hour are RIDICULOUS! The office should call if they are running behind or not overbook.

S
 
avatar
Jeune1 responded:
There's a huge gap between "anything" and "free care," isn't there? Yes, I expect a lot from my health care provider. But then, so do the state, specialty societies, health insurance companies &c, &c, &c.

To the specific issue of free care, that's a huge issue for doctors. They can even get in trouble if they too readily forgive patient copay amounts! I know doctors are reluctant to dismiss patients who won't pay for care, and it has to be done a certain way to prevent legal repercussions. I think they - or at least practice staff - should be willing to try to work with patients who can't afford to pay for care. But that involves determining how much the patient CAN pay. I didn't see that in the post linked.

And again, she was an extreme example. I really think the practice would have been within its rights to give her the boot. She was a difficult patient and you're allowed to get rid of those as well.
 
avatar
jis4judy responded:
That particular story was so one sided the problem with that story is the mother wasn;t the patient the daughter was
and being a Mom I can understand her frustration but her complaint was with the ER not the pediatrition at least thats the way it should have been ...
I think we are entitled to the best care a doctor can give with the limits of his or her knowlege at best most doctors make an educated guess as to whats wrong and how to treat it .. thats my point of view
Hugs Judy:)
 
avatar
Anon_3669 replied to jis4judy's response:
Her attitude was so over the top that she should be told not to come back.
 
avatar
butterflygarden responded:
Wow, that lady was pretty darn entitled! Unfortunately, I see this type of behavior in many places these days, not just the doctor's office.

What am I entitled to from my doctor? Bottom line -- the best care he or she can possibly give me. I am entitled to his or her undivided attention while the visit is going on. I am entitled to having him or her treat me with respect.

What are they entitled to from me? That I treat them with respect in return. That I come prepared for my visit. That I PAY my bill.

Being a doctor is a job. Health care is a business, for the most part. Unless you know your physician runs a charity, then you should expect to pay for the care you receive.

If you feel like your physician is not ethical or competent, you can turn him or her to your state's medical board.

When my kids were small, my pediatrician was a delightful man who was great with kids and parents alike. He knew that my husband and I didn't make much money, so anytime I went in for a visit he sent me home with formula samples, medication samples, diapers, etc. Did I expect it? No. Did I appreciate it? Yes. Did I refer ALL my girlfriends to his practice when they got pregnant? You betcha!

Butterfly
 
avatar
deadmanwalking57 replied to butterflygarden's response:
Butterfly:
That is called goodwill. Your doctor exhibited it, and you did in return.

The Mother in the story did not. With the amount of information available on the internet, it is easier for a patient or patient advocate to do research and make suggestions of unusual possibilities to aid a doctor's diagnosis. There are a few common diagnoses, and over 100,000 less frequent causes of illness that are less easily determined.

The Mother needs to be reminded of, and watch, the movie "Lorenzo's Oil". The story, true, of a severely ill child whose doctors had NO idea of the cause of his affliction. His Mother did her own research and continued trying to find a cure for years for her son. And she eventually succeeded. Great movie. Outstanding performances by the principals, which included Susan Sarandon as the Mother of the boy in the story.

I merely have heart disease. But It took months of my own research a mere 6 years ago to learn and thoroughly understand the complete details of how it works and the role diet and lifestyle choices play in its development, prevention, and recovery. I understand this better than anyone I have met, my doctors included. I lived it to the brink and brought myself back to good health, given the chance through the work of many medical staff who were reimbursed through insurance in this country, or cash payments in another country. Be prepared.

Doctors learn how to treat heart disease when it affects people. They do not have the time to give a complete and detailed explanation to every patient. Most patients are too lazy to change their lifestyle, so it would be a waste of the doctor's time.

Sometimes a thorough, or a cursory, explanation is given in rehabilitation. But it is still up to the patient to implement the changes on a permanent basis, or the disease returns.

Health Care for free devalues the education of those who work in the health care field. You can't get a free car from a dealer, free clothes, food or appliances at stores.

For charity, you go where it is provided. But don't walk into a business and expect charity. Hospitals are primarily a business, run and staffed by very highly trained people who paid a lot of money and hard work to achieve their knowledge and expertise. Even the federal mandate for hospitals to treat all patients who walk in is unfair. Do that enough, and hospitals close, leaving the remaining population with fewer health care choices.

If unprepared, or a person lacks health insurance through their own bad decisions, then they deserve a blanket and a place to lie down. They have that at home.

If you want medical care that is affordable, buy health insurance. You mostly get what you pay for, and should not expect more.
 
avatar
deadmanwalking57 responded:
I had a medical emergency on vacation, with severe unstable angina. I telephoned my doctor and gave him full details of what was happening to me. I told him I would need to see a cardiologist on my return, and could he please talk to the other doctor so he or she would be prepared to see a patient in severe but non life threatening distress. He agreed.

On return, I called the cardiologists office. A visit had been approved, and they could see me in two weeks. According to the receptionist, they had no information about the nature of my illness. I discussed it over the phone with the office manager, and they said they would see me in two days.

I called my primary care physician, and risking a heart attack, I dumped on him for neglecting to discuss my case with the other doctor or that doctor's staff so that they had an appointment for me the day I got back. My doctor told me he had no obligation to talk to the other doctor. I told him I thought he was wrong, and that I was going to drop him as my primary care physician. And I did. Never spoke to him again.

And I had excellent health insurance. That doctor lost my family's future business for health care because he would not make a 5 minute phone call for a patient he had seen regularly for almost 10 years.

Long story short. Next day, a Wednesday, I went to E.R. in the morning. Hours of tests. Transferred to another hospital, an angiogram was done at 7:00 AM the next morning, which confirmed I had almost no circulation to my heart. Since I was not in immediate distress, my bypass surgery was delayed until the next morning. Severe angina that night caused them to move my surgery up from 10:00 AM to 7:00 AM. Staff was surprised I did not die before surgery. They said so.
 
avatar
chocolatecity77071 responded:
Free care??? There is nothing in life thats free. The patient is entitled to the proper care, period!


WebMD Talk Show

Feel like a friendly debate? Take the gloves off and defend your viewpoint.

Learn More