Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Three's Company, Four's A Treatment Plan?

Having discussed second opinions before, it was interesting to read about how Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, sought the advice of experts:

What is known is that a few days after Mr. Kennedy learned he had a malignant brain tumor in the left parietal lobe, he invited a group of national experts to discuss his case.

The meeting on May 30 was extraordinary in at least two ways.

One was the ability of a powerful patient — in this case, a scion of a legendary political family and the chairman of the Senate’s health committee — to summon noted consultants to learn about the latest therapy and research findings.

The second was his efficiency in quickly convening more than a dozen experts from at least six academic centers. Some flew to Boston. Others participated by telephone after receiving pertinent test results and other medical records.

If only the rest of us could summon dozens of experts to our bedside to discuss our ailments. However, the article does go on to note that many experts do look at the records of regular patients with unique cases. Still, the piece does say that:

Just sending images and records is far less preferable than meeting with a patient before rendering an opinion. “I do not operate on films,” Dr. Flamm said. “I operate on people.”

Meeting with patients “is an important factor in terms of their expectations and concerns,” he continued, adding: “I can see a white ball on a scan and say yes, that is a tumor, I agree. Beyond that it is rather difficult to come up with a treatment plan based on that, other than saying, yes I would operate or I won’t.”

Hm, it seems that privilege indeed still does have its benefits in America.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Related Products from Amazon