Issue 20 Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 Thu, Aug 22, 2019 75ยข

Interdisciplinary Medicine

- 04 - 13 - 2018 - Friday, April 13th, 2018
by Luna Limn

Hey all, I wanted to share an insight into why getting medical care can be so hard, from the perspective of one of the people trying to get you care.

See, the medical field is a mess. Seriously, just a mess. Medical science has improved massively and exponentially over the past century, but a lot of the systems of dispensing medicine and the administration overseeing it have not changed, sometimes at all. If that sounds like a dumb idea, that’s because it is.

Medical care in the early 20th century used to require precisely 2 people, the nurse providing the majority of care, and the doctor overseeing that nurse. Medical care now average 15 people per patient between doctors, nurses, physical therapy, pharmacists, and so many more people. As medical care splintered off into increasingly specialized silos of skills and knowledge, the system adjusted a little bit, but largely all these groups don’t have adequate methods or time for communication. This means people waste a lot of time repeating information, repeating exams on patients, sometimes even duplicating testing that was already done. On top of that, there is significant time wasted between providers who function in different locations and have to send each other messages that often take days to arrive and more days to be returned.

Overall, delays in healthcare come from a number of places, but the underlying issue that exacerbates the rest is this disorganization that keeps people wasting time just trying to talk to each other. As a future physician, I want to believe this won’t be an issue for my entire career, but it is hard to imagine how we could transition to a system that fixes these fundamental flaws.

Let’s all just cross our fingers that something will allow us to create a system designed for the era we actually live in, that hopefully can handle the changes the future will surely bring.

Editor’s Choice: Lyrics

So come on all you fox-girls and you ghost-girls and you pretty pirates,

Come on all you wild girls and you lost girls and you shrinking violets,

Come and pay the piper, say you'll leave their war unwon.

It's only words on paper, and your story is not done.

My Story Is Not Done
by Seanan McGuire

August 2019
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