Unfortunately, after the influenza in January I got some nasty complications. Therefore, during the last 3 months I have made a full immersion to the Italian health care system. I wrote already in an earlier blog Italian health care system that according to me this system works well.
The very first step when I got sick was to go to our family doctor. Because I had already been sick and got again a high fever and tachycardia, he decided to send me to make X-ray exam and ECG. Then he sent me to a cardiologist and to an echocardiography. At this moment I noticed some problems in this system. From public health system, I could have got an appointment with cardiologist after three months and echocardiography next November (it was February when I asked). Therefore, I decided to consult a private cardiologist. The cardiologist wanted me to take some blood exams so our family doctor gave me a referral to these exams and in addition to these exams, our family doctor added several other exams.
After antibiotics, exams etc. doctors (family doctor, cardiologist, infectologist) could not figure out the cause of my tachycardia and other symptoms. So one beautiful day I went to our doctor and asked if it were possible that it would be one particular virus that causes problems and if I should be tested for that. Then happened something I expected the least. Our family doctor (I have been his patient for 15 years) just got mad with me. He started to yell and insult how I dare to come and give some medical suggestions to him. He yelled and claimed that I had already had too many tests (either he or an expert had asked all those texts and exams – this was a first blood test that I asked) and that he hates Google. I left the studio feeling bad with a referral to do that blood exam in my hand. The other patients outside watched me surprised, because they had heard everything outside.
This kind of treatment heart me profoundly. I have always thought that if I suggest something the doctor is supposed to tell me if it is possible, if not he explains why not. Instead, our doctor felt threatened. Usually we go to a doctor because we are sick or we have some health concerns. Nobody goes to tell how great he or she feels. After this experience, I started to think that some Italian doctors (maybe also other nationalities) feel that they are so much above the ordinary people that they are immediately after the God. Only they can know and nobody can suggest to them anything, because patients cannot know anything.
According to me a criteria to a good doctor is not only that they are competent, but also humility, respect towards the patients and a deep humanity are important characteristics. There is always the psychological factor in every illness and sometimes part of the heeling process is that the patient is respected and listened and that the patient can ask and suggest without being violated psychologically. Unfortunately, I notice that this experience has affected my general attitude towards doctors. It will take a while before I learn to trust doctors again – our family doctor not.
My absolutely favorite doctor