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Old 11-24-2014, 02:44 PM   #61
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Well, if you don't have a competent doctor, then I think it's crucial to make the effort to find one. IMO none of us are brain dead and we can and should be able to decide on criteria by which to decide whether or not a doctor is competent.

For me, an outstanding US medical education and association with a major hospital are bit pluses, as are strong recommendations from other doctors I respect, strong recommendations from friends whose judgement I believe to be excellent, and my own observations and opinions during my first few visits to a doctor (and can we communicate well?) are all helpful.
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my own observations and opinions during my first few visits to a doctor (and can we communicate well?) are all helpful.
Plenty of quacks are good communicators. Doesn't mean you should buy what they are selling.
Yes, I couldn't agree more that that should not be a sole criterion for doctor selection (as you can see when my entire post is quoted, which I did above with bolded criteria that weren't mentioned in your quote from my post, in order to clarify). I am sure you understand what I mean, when I say that being a good communicator is a necessary, but not sufficient, attribute that I look for in a doctor.

I also forgot to mention that I look for a doctor that is board certified in his specialty. Very important, to me if not to everyone here.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:14 PM   #62
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I told my physician that a vastly prefer generic drugs where possible not so much for the cost but because by the time a drug becomes generic any serious side effects have likley shown up. Considering the number of failures recently released drugs have had when they go into general use and a much larger population takes them it makes sense to view the period when a drug is patent protected as a stage 4 trial with a very large test base for bad effects.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:16 PM   #63
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You know why flying is generally so safe? Because the pilots have a big stake in the game! You know why trusting just any old doctor to prescribe med for you is not so safe? Awww, shucks. A dead patient. When was that tee time again?
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #64
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You know why flying is generally so safe? Because the pilots have a big stake in the game!
The age-old quote about that is that "The pilot is always the first one at the scene of the crash."
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:15 PM   #65
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Sometimes you find that the quality of life is better with than without. But hey, give it a try.

Totally agree. I use to hate that I had to take prescription drugs everyday but after awhile, I have become very thankful for the drugs that give me a much better quality of life.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:57 PM   #66
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OP here... Sorry for starting this and disappearing, was distracted and forgot to get back....
"Distracted, forgetful"? I think there's medicine for that. You might want to ask your doctor.
I never heard of a medicine that helps with your condition of "disappearing". I don't even know what sort of specialist you would see for that condition.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:23 AM   #67
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OP here. Sorry for starting this and disappearing, was distracted and forgot to get back. Thanks for great discussion. I do not really have a doctor and have never been prescribed anything other than antibiotics and such for injuries (which I took).

I am hoping that my older years will be the same as my younger years. My examples in real life seem to all be seeing doctors and taking medications so was wondering about the experiences of folks here. Thanks again.
I see some problems in a blanket statement. There are certain meds one might need to cope with a real deficiency.

But I see some in the family are over-drugged, and might benefit by taking less of a certain med. I know from experience what it is like to take one drug to make a number go down, and then another number goes up and the doc has another scrip waiting. Then it is time to understand what ails you, and find a new doc to work with you.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:00 AM   #68
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Basically, hiding our heads in the sand doesn't keep us from growing older and eventually dying. In order to achieve a good quality of life in old age we need to fight the health issues and negative effects of aging head on! IMO seeing a good and competent doctor regularly and following his instructions in every detail is a no-brainer as we get older.

If you exercise, eat no sugar/low carb diet and fight the health issues and negative effects of aging head on, why the need to see a doctor--REGULARLY? every 2 years for a finger check is regular for me...
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:00 AM   #69
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......... As a physician, I am still in awe of the knowledge and skills of us medical folks........ .
I admire most doctors a great deal, too. But I also know that too many take payola from drug companies in "speaking fees" for prescribing the "right" number of drugs.

So, credibility is not black and white and it is prudent to not blindly trust your physician.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:12 AM   #70
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I know a fellow who is taking around seventeen prescribed meds each day. He did have multiple bypasses some ten years ago. As one who does NOT meddle in others' medical issues, it seems to me that is a lot of stuff. He sees several specialists.

Another guy walks around with 4x6" plastic box with many rubriks filled with meds for his wife who had a stroke, she is a walkie but not talkie. they come in the diner requently. The box of meds is to me a midblowing sight.

Can't help but wonder if any one of his docs ever does a comprehensive review of all the stuff he takes, check for interactions and most importantly eveluates the need for all of them. He says all docs' nurses write down all the stuff he takes, each time he visits the office.

Is it possible for a doc to look at the list and from memory identify and understand all the needs for them and nderstand the interactions? Along with the exam, all in 15 minutes or often less.

My guess is that the last line of defense for interactions is at the pharmacist.

Frankly I hope never to be in a situation needing that many meds.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:18 PM   #71
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Can't help but wonder if any one of his docs ever does a comprehensive review of all the stuff he takes, check for interactions and most importantly eveluates the need for all of them.
An excellent point. There are quite a few drug interaction checkers online. You might ask if he has ever used one. I just googled it and found online checkers at:
  • drugs.com
  • medscape.com
  • rxlist.com
  • webmd.com
  • healthline.com
  • walgreens.com
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:33 PM   #72
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I admire most doctors a great deal, too. But I also know that too many take payola from drug companies in "speaking fees" for prescribing the "right" number of drugs.
One more reason to favor larger HMO setups. Doctors and prescriptions get decoupled from the pharmaceutical salespeople. The HMO's automation monitors prescriptions and makes suggestions. It's harder to wind up with an excess of conflicting prescriptions.

Now, some folks might be upset by the idea. "Oh noes! Prescriptions are protected free speech! Oh, and more oxycontin, please?" Overall I think this sort of system produces better treatment outcomes and lower costs, though.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:46 PM   #73
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Can't help but wonder if any one of his docs ever does a comprehensive review of all the stuff he takes, check for interactions and most importantly eveluates the need for all of them. He says all docs' nurses write down all the stuff he takes, each time he visits the office.
DH did go through that when his 80-something year old mother moved in with him. He thinks there were 13 prescriptions (including Premarin to relieve post-menopause symptoms). The doc cut it down to 3.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:04 PM   #74
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Is it possible for a doc to look at the list and from memory identify and understand all the needs for them and understand the interactions? Along with the exam, all in 15 minutes or often less.

My guess is that the last line of defense for interactions is at the pharmacist.
The pharmacist who wrote Are Your Prescriptions Killing You believes that many doctors, particularly specialists, don't revisit what other doctors have prescribed - they simply prescribe over them if there isn't a major contraindication. The result is med piled on med with problems inevitable at some point. As we get very old some of the meds we have been on for years make no sense in the current context (e.g. why would you keep someone in the final stages of Alzheimers on statins or BP meds?). By the way, I highly recommend the book especially for us aging boomers. The author provides a wealth of information on things to watch for in meds are we get older.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:45 PM   #75
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An excellent point. There are quite a few drug interaction checkers online. You might ask if he has ever used one. I just googled it and found online checkers at:
  • drugs.com
  • medscape.com
  • rxlist.com
  • webmd.com
  • healthline.com
  • walgreens.com
I would do that for myself. As I noted, I will not meddle in others medical or other issues. If by some magic my opinion would be solicited, I'd suggest.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:51 PM   #76
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I share the OP's healthy skepticism of Big Pharma (if that's behind his/her statement). I'm 61 and on zero prescriptions (but a few supplements that probably just make my urine very expensive).
This reminds me of Robert Duvall's epic line in Apocalypse Now: "I love the smell of expensive urine in the morning."
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:20 PM   #77
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I have news for you. Good luck with that!

How Health Declines with Age
Once at my annual cardiologist visit I jokingly asked the Dr. if I was getting better, He turned to me and said tersely, "We don't get better we only get worse". Hmmm...sorry I asked.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #78
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Shoulda asked, who is this we kimosabe?
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Old 11-26-2014, 05:07 PM   #79
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So, credibility is not black and white and it is prudent to not blindly trust your physician.
Oh, I have complete faith and trust in my doctor:
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:11 AM   #80
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Totally anecdotally, and of no real value to anyone else, I stopped taking my Zocor on the 22nd when I posted last. Today I'm feeling wonderful. Most of my muscle pain has gone away, and I'm lifting things with less effort than before. The only thing that still hurts is my thumb, and I just hit it with a hammer today, so it doesn't count.

Can it really be that simple? Does the effect, assuming it even was the statin, go away so fast? I may keep this up for a month or so, then start it back up again and see if the pain and weakness reoccurs. What's retirement for if you can't choose to act as a medical guinea pig?
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