I was honored, if a bit nonplussed, to be invited to write this inaugural blog for No More Medical Debt and the book it features, The Patient, The Doctor and The Bill Collector (PDBC). Just what does a “second opinion” mean within the context of this website and publication, and what could I add to the dialogue?
I knew the answer to both, of course. How many times have I been asked for a second opinion from patients who were unsure of or questioning the initial prognosis that they heard? Many, over the years. And was I familiar with the basic premise of the book, that our medical system is in severe distress, of course.
In the vast majority of the cases I was invited to review as a physician, I supported the original diagnosis and recommended treatment. This was reassuring to both the patient and the doctor as well. There were cases where I had disagreements with the healthcare practitioner, and that required that I really had to back up my own opinion. Not only for the sake of the patient and the to motivate a possible second look by the physician involved, but for myself.
Who was I, really, to offer that “second opinion.”
It turns out that there are two qualities on the part of the person being sought out for his or her wisdom. First, that they have an objectivity that is not unduly influenced. Secondly, there must be a willingness to be honest.
have known Robert Goff and Jerry Ashton for some time, and both have been influential in my making the right decisions in my own professional world. Would that tend to shade my assessment of their book and their work? Could I be honest in offering a counter opinion?
It turns out that both factors were in play, and both did not sway my final say on PDBC. This book should be required reading for every medical student. It should be a much-consulted handbook for those in the collections, pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
And for anyone who wants to survive medical debt and an unfair system – it is essential for their financial and emotional well-being.
That’s my second opinion, and I am standing by it.
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This post was written by Dr. Brent Wise