Interfacing with the Medical Profession 8

We recently came across a Sydney Cardiology practice that has as it’s motto “Cardiology with a personal touch” – but it’s without an ordinary email address, doesn’t even have an email form!!!!

Who are they kidding?

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Interfacing with the Medical Profession 7

We need to realise that, broadly speaking, there are two types of doctors.

Those who rely on getting a fair number of patients, by GP referrals and from emails from potential patients and so on, who they are not really able to help because they’re not getting enough with problems within their “areas of specialisation,” if any – not getting enough of those who they can really help coming to them.

And those who are happy enough to only see those who need help in areas that are clearly within their “areas of specialisation,” who they can really help. If you email the doctors in this second category, the doctor himself or herself, or someone clearly speaking on their behalf, takes the few seconds necessary to clarify the situation, to provide a “Yes” or “No” answer. They are just as interested as you are in trying to make sure that they only see patients they can really help.

As an amazing example of the first type, we have become aware of a situation in which an email was sent to a Dr AAAA asking if helping those with hearing problems was within his “areas of specialisation,” and this was the reply that came back from a “Sarah,” (no indication as to who she might be,) after 17 days!!! – and we quote, “Dr AAAA is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist so he would be able to have a look at you in regards to your ear issues. If you would like to phone us we can organise a booking for a consultation with Dr AAAA. Dr AAAA would be happy to see you in regard to assessing your ears.”

Quite bizarre!

The Sarahs of this world have no real knowledge because no one has provided them with it. All they’re about is trying to get appointments.

You can’t blame the Sarahs and those they work for – they clearly need the business. But they only remain in business because their approach works with enough people. It’s an understatement to say that readers should try to not be people taken in by such approaches.

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Interfacing with the Medical Profession 6

We’ve just been involved in an exercise in which a reader having hearing problems emailed 43 Sydney ENT Specialists, (Ear Nose and Throat,) asking two questions:-

(1) Is helping people with hearing problems “within your areas of specialisation?” and, (2) If not, is there anyone else you could suggest?

  • 15, just over a third, didn’t respond in any way, even though they were emailed twice.
  • 14, just under a third, advised that it wasn’t within their areas of specialisation but recommending someone else – a number which pleasantly surprised us.
  • 8, responded with responses that didn’t inspire confidence – not answering the questions and just looking to get the reader to make an appointment.
  • 6, i.e. 1 in every 7 emails sent, provided answers of the sort that made you feel that they may be worthwhile to consult at least once, which to us was about normal – further research can and should be done with such people, of course.

We feel very strongly that this is what you/we’ve got to do if you/we want medical help with anything important. To us it increases the chances of seeing the very best people for you to see enormously.

Of course, the theory is that you just ask GPs to advise you as to who are the very best Specialists to help – but we could write a book on how we’ve found this to be nonsense with anything important, even having disastrous consequences at times.

Once a letter has been drafted, it can be sent to 43 people in not much more than an hour, if names and email addresses are available – gathering these is the hard part. But by using this link you can go to the 43 names and email addresses used in this exercise, at least.

Of course, we could also provide you with the details of how various ENT specialists have responded in this exercise. But no thank you very much!! The thugs in the medical profession, of whom there are a few, say that people and their families may be refused treatment even if they just hint that any particular doctors may not be the very best people to see. We know!!! Readers have to send out the emails themselves, and evaluate the responses themselves.

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Dr Kerrie Meades, Ophthalmologist

We have become aware of a letter having been emailed to Dr Kerrie Meades making extremely serious accusations against her, which hasn’t even been acknowledged, let alone responded to. We’ll let you know if ever she responds.

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Walt Secord – dealing with 1

A letter sent by email to Walt Secord, the NSW Shadow Minister for Health, on 5 Dec 2017.

Because the above is a copy, the link show in it doesn’t work, but this one does:- http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/coroner-recommends-concord-hospital-pay-more-attention-to-parents-concerns-20171201-gzx05b.html

A 28 January 2018 update: No response so far to this email – it hasn’t even been acknowledged.

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Interfacing with the Medical Profession 5

To us what is described in this Sydney Morning Herald article is quite extraordinary – about which we will write more later.

Having read it, to a certain extent we were pleasantly surprised, and certainly excited, to find that the Concord Government hospital, at least now, has an ordinary email address that can be used to send letters to it’s top management, hopefully! Perhaps things are changing. Of course, whether anyone is ever going to respond to emails sent using it, is another question.

This has lead us to use it to send this:-

Oops! Of all the dirty low down tricks!!!!!! After all the time we’ve spent drafting this post, working on the assumption that when we’ve been invited twice on this page to use an ordinary email address – concordinfo@email.cs.nse.gov.au – that it would work. And then we find that it doesn’t work at all!!!!! We’ve tried 4 different ways of using it to send an email, and each time, we get back, “Host or domain name not found,” within a few seconds. When will we learn to stop being so naive in dealing with these bastards?

Perhaps we’ll just publish what we’ve written anyway and see what happens.

While it’s obvious a lot of good work is being done by a lot of good people in government hospitals, nevertheless, to a large extent these people are not really accountable, as is true of lots of the people generally in the health care industry, and the whole world generally – this, at a time when ordinary emails have come along which have the capacity to make people extraordinarily accountable

To anyone with a legal back ground it’s like being able to cross-examine people in court, and letting them be judged by how they respond. You couldn’t get anything fairer than that.

But the problem is that while you can be finding what people are like till the cows come home, it still depends to large extent on what people with power do about the things that are found out.

And in this respect, under the present State government:-

If you want to involve our State Premier in doing things about things, all you can do is use one of those wretched email forms and unless you provide your full personal details, name, address, and phone number, even if on the most general of questions, she seems to think that she’s excused from responding. It’s as though she’s saying, “I will not be cross-examined on this.” Perhaps even, “I don’t care!”

And it’s probably true of our minister for health Brad Hazzard – it was certainly true of his predecessor Jillian Skinner.

And it’s certainly true of local members of Parliament like Geoff Lee, the local Member for Parramatta.

It’s as though some brain dead person, somewhere along the line, came up with, “If people won’t provide us with all their full personal details, we are excused from responding to their concerns – surely the people will accept that.” And every one in the government has followed. Well it’s up to us, the people, to make them realise that this is something that we WON’T accept – if they won’t provide reasonable responses to our reasonable emails, we won’t vote for them, no matter what excuses they may come up with.

In the meantime, we have a Coroner being quoted as saying the fact that a 13 year old boy was wheeled in a wheelchair to his family’s car, (because he was too sick to walk,) at 2.20 in the morning, and told “Off you go,” to be dead within 13 hours, was “not due to any deficiency on the part of Concord Hospital’s staff or it’s systems” – something we, the people, learnt more than 3 years, 3 months and 20 days later, when the Coroner’s report was made public.

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Interfacing with the Medical Profession 4

If we have a medical problem, we want to be able to consult only the doctor or doctors who can help us the most, obviously. And as medical knowledge increases and increases, that may mean that out of literally hundreds of doctors that we COULD see, only 1 in 30, or 1 in 50, perhaps even 1 in 100 or more are doctors who are the most likely to be able to help us the most. In other words there can be some doctors who are potentially 30 times, or 50 times, perhaps even 100 times or more, more likely to be helpful than others.

So how do we find the doctor or doctors who are likely to be the best ones for us to consult – it’s becoming more and more like looking for a needle in a haystack!

Fortunately there are doctors who help us with this, making it easy. They are easy to contact, almost always by having an ordinary email address, and if you send them a letter asking if helping those with your particular problem or problems is within their “areas of specialisation,” they are happy to provide you with at least a “yes” or a “no” answer, in writing. And often more.

Such doctors are likely to specialise in only 1 or 2 areas, in which they are ABSOLUTE experts – the last thing THEY want is for any one to be coming to them for help with problems in which they are not absolute experts.

The bad news, and it’s extremely bad in some ways, is that perhaps 90% of doctors are not like that. They are not particularly good at anything, and rely heavily on lots of people coming to them for help with problems in which they are not experts, let alone absolute experts. Such doctors are to be avoided like the plague, obviously.

We’ve had a fair bit of experience in sending out the sort of letters we’ve described above, and found that you probably have to send out 10 to get 1 good response. But, in a sense, who cares? – so long as you get enough good responses.  But that’s how it is. And if you aren’t prepared to do the work that’s involved in what we’ve described, you’ve only got yourself to blame if the help you get is mediocre.

In this context it’s important to realise that GPs often don’t know who it’s best to refer you to. We’ve had readers tell us that GPs have referred them to doctors for help with problems, and the doctors have refused to confirm that have the necessary expertise to help them????

More later.

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Seeking help for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) problems 2

An email sent to Dr AAA asking if helping seniors with hearing problems was within his “areas of specialisation?”

After 5 days, no reply, so a reminder email sent, which resulted in, “Dr AAA would need to see you for a consultation. If you would like to make an appointment please give our office a call on 0000 0000 to make an appointment,” from someone with no details as to who she was/is, and no attempt to answer the question.

Four TERRIBLE ratings on RateMDs.com, and then, all of sudden, within 6 weeks, 4 ratings out of 5 saying that Dr AAA is an amazing doctor after all. Hmmmm!

And lots of 10 out of 10 ratings everywhere else.

A website with lots a great pictures of sexy people. A FaceBook page with lots of likes, and lots of bits and pieces. And into Twitter!

To us, the sad thing is that all this must work with some people. As for us – not interested.

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The Grace Gawler Institute – dealing with 1

The Grace Gawler Institute claims to be “Introducing a New Culture of Cancer Survivorship.”

Preliminary research indicates that it belongs to a lady in her late 50s or early 60s, who, while having no formal medical qualifications, claims to have 42 years experience as “a cancer navigator and patient advocate,” with all sorts of contacts and information that could be helpful to all sorts of cancer sufferers, and who, although based in Queensland, Australia, can be readily contacted by anyone in the whole wide world by email or Skype.

To us, organisations like these, have ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE potential to provide help to you and us, which the medical professions and governments are never going to provide.

Hopefully, all of your questions and ours are going to be answered in coming days, soon!

Mail us at mail@medicalquestionsandanswers.net

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Seeking help for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) problems 1

After nearly ten years working on finding the best doctors to see, it’s become clear to us that you/we just have to be EXTREMELY careful in deciding who to see and use. (Just as we have to be in most other areas of our lives.) Amongst other things, see this quote, claimed to apply to Australia:-

Developments in communication technology over the last 25 years or so have opened up so many new ways in which we can carry out research to help us make the best choices.

One of the things we practice and strongly advocate is sending emails to doctors who may be suitable, asking them if the things on which you need help are within their “areas of specialisation?” We find that if we send out at least 20 such emails, that in at least 9 cases out of 10, 2 or 3 stand out as being the best to see, (and, of course, we usually need to only see one.) And that if we see one or more of the ones we have chosen to see in this way, in 9 cases out of 10 they will turn out to be amongst the very best ones we can see.

With this in mind, we are putting together a list of Sydney Ear Nose and Throat specialists who have ordinary email addresses – so far we’re up to 33.

Mail us at mail@medicalquestionsandanswers.net

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