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asking for advice

Discussion in 'Family Medicine' started by dancote, May 27, 2004.

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  1. dancote

    dancote Senior Member

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    Jan 25, 2004
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    SDN 7+ Year Member

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    Hello,

    I am a premedical student with a family of 5 getting ready to apply to D.O. schools. I am wondering if it is possible today to be the kind of doctor I'd like to be. I am considering Managed Care, lack of time with the patients, insurance, etc. The type of doctor I dream of being is a family doctor who has time to listen to their patients and to understand what the root cause of their symptoms are. I want to work on healing and not just dealing with symptoms. I have shadowed with 5 family docs so far and it has been very disappointing to me. They were all very caring people but never HAVING the time to do much more than write prescriptions for the symptoms. Also, there is the problem of the insurance companies seeming to control everything that they can or can't do!
    I'd also like to work with alternative treatments such as herbs and diet. I know that a lot of people, including my family, would like these options.

    Should I be looking into Naturopathic doctoring? I don't want to be only using medications!

    Anyway, is my dream still possible today? Should I be looking elsewhere for my career?

    Dan Cote'
  2. lowbudget

    lowbudget Senior Member

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    Aug 4, 2003
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    1,379
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    From what I've seen in my 3rd year rotations, there's a huge range of physicians who approach patients and their problems in a variety of ways. One of my surgeon profs had extremely deep 10 minute conversations about cancer, while one of my psych profs did not care about some lady's depression and only wanted to adjust medications during her 30 minute slot (claiming, "we don't have enough time to talk about it.") I've seen Medicine docs who treat labs and call it Pure Medicine, and pediatricians who hand down wisdom about parenting saying "This is why they come to a pediatrician... to talk about parenting" rather than some medical problem. So it just depends. If you're a guy who has the resolve to care for your patients as a person rather than an EKG reading then spend the EFFORT to do so... it's only partially a function of Time. My conclusion from what I've observed in a variety of settings (private practice/community, university, prison), therefore, is that yes, even in a Managed Care setting, you can be a good doctor if you want to.

    I just hope my idealism isn't crushed by the time I get out.
  3. bmickelsen

    bmickelsen Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Messages:
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    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Dan Cote

    One of the beauties of medicine is that you truly can make of it what you want. If you want to be the kind of doctor that you are describing then you can be, but that is not w/o some conditions. First you have to be willing to either work more hours or make less hours. If a doc is seeing 6 pts an hour and you are seeing 2 or 3 it's easy to see why that would be the case. But if you truly practice medicine the way you are describing, the way it is supposed to be practiced then you and your patients will both be happy.

    The other recommendation I would make to you is to consider doing family medicine in a rural community. It is usually a lot easier for a doctor to be a doctor vs a pill perscriber in that setting.

    Just my 2 cents on the issue, I have the same dream as you. I'm currently a 2nd year student at UNECOM. The osteopathic route is also very conducive to what you want to do.
    Brandon
    Dan Cote

    One of the beauties of medicine is that you truly can make of it what you want. If you want to be the kind of doctor that you are describing then you can be, but that is not w/o some conditions. First you have to be willing to either work more hours or make less hours. If a doc is seeing 6 pts an hour and you are seeing 2 or 3 it's easy to see why that would be the case. But if you truly practice medicine the way you are describing, the way it is supposed to be practiced then you and your patients will both be happy.

    The other recommendation I would make to you is to consider doing family medicine in a rural community. It is usually a lot easier for a doctor to be a doctor vs a pill perscriber in that setting.

    Just my 2 cents on the issue, I have the same dream as you. I'm currently a 2nd year student at UNECOM. The osteopathic route is also very conducive to what you want to do.
    Brandon

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