One is in abundance and the other is limited.

Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Melissa Griffith, here’s what I promised you. Here’s your comment:

Same issue only a doctor had an ultrasound tech who did a 5-minute look at my leg for possible DVT, let the tech diagnose muscle cramps, and basically tossed me out of the ER. A few weeks later, I had a kidney stone and was reevaluated at a better hospital with real doctors and was diagnosed with a severe DVT and multiple clots in my lungs. My recourse? A pile full of medical bills and no way to hold the original hospital responsible.

This SO reminded me of my hospital days. I worked at an infamous pediatric hospital many moons ago. I was the Clinic Manager for the Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonary department. There were many days when we didn’t need to bring lunch or eat hospital cafeteria food. Why?

Drug reps would cater lunches for us.

They would make arrangements to have conference rooms booked near our department, give us a heads up to dates and times, and then there it all would be. Set up like a luncheon at a 3-day conference that you have to RSVP for. And pay for. Sandwiches, salads, sides, drinks, desserts. The works. Why?

To have alone time with the physicians to pitch their drug-of-the-month. Doctors had financial incentives to write the scripts for the drugs they were peddling. Admin staff got free pens, totes, rulers, key chains, etc. in their goodie bags. All to woo everyone over in order to sell their drugs.

Legalized drug dealing is all that it was. I don’t know if it still goes on in hospitals today but in the late 80s and early 90s. Hunty, you couldn’t sneeze without hitting a drug rep hauling their wares through the hallowed halls.

Fast forward probably ten years if not longer. I got very ill. I mean given Last Rites ill. By then I was working for the feds. I can remember struggling to get up the hill to the ER. We were in the middle of a snow storm so cars couldn’t make the climb. Hell, neither could ambulances. They were stranded up at the bottom of the hill.

An EMT helped me make the climb, as sick as I was. But I remember drug reps being stranded at the top of the hill and one offered the EMT some help to get me inside. So yeah.

It was even going on then.

Which has given us civilians only one recourse when they totally FK up. Hire a lawyer. It brings up such negative connotations because like all things in life, someone has to abuse the system so it makes it harder for the rest of us. But at the end of the day, no one is going to take care of you but you so do what you’ve got to do.

It’s like when I was raped. I was angrier at all the women he had raped before me than I was at him. I can remember thinking that if even one of them had gone to the police maybe I would have been spared. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. Maybe he would have been in jail. Maybe more women would have come forward once he was in jail and they didn’t have to fear retaliation. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Someone has to be first.

It ended up being me.

I saved all the women down the line and they didn’t even know it.

So maybe if you go after these asshats that did this to you, you can be The First and save some others.

I hope I covered everything for you. ~ Terry

For those of you out of the loop, the original story where her comment appeared is here.

When Medical Incompetence Becomes Standard Practice
Time for more

Originally published in The Blade Sept 28, 2021