Diagnosing Is Elementary Mr. Watson

By Bill Rusteberg

A patient in severe pain barges into the doctor’s office screaming “I need to see the doctor! I’m in pain, terrible pain! Please, tell the doctor I need help!”

Staff immediately jumps into action. “Quick Mary, take him to exam room 3. I’ll tell the doctor!”

In terrible pain, the intruder, now patient, waits anxiously for the doctor. It’s quiet, the door is closed, and the wait begins.

“What seems to be the problem?” says the doctor as he finally makes his appearance.

“Doc, I’m in terrible pain everywhere. The pain is equally bad in every part of my body! It’s a level 10! I need pain medication! Please doctor, please help me!” begged the patient.

“Ok, let’s find out what’s going on” says Doctor Holms. “Touch the top of your head!”

“Ahhhhhhgh, it hurts doc, the paid in unbelievable!” screams the patient.

“Ok, now touch your abdomen” instructs the doctor.

“Ahhhhhhgh Mother of Jesus” screams the patient, “It’s so painful I’d rather be dead!”

“Ok, now touch your left foot” says the doctor with confidence.

“Ahhhhhghg, the pain is beyond painful. Please shoot me!” says the patient

“Ok, I have a diagnosis! Your finger is broken!” says the doctor.

Sometimes we point our finger at our out-of-control health care delivery system which is destroying the American middle class but fail to focus on the root cause – secretive managed care contracts we can’t see nor audit yet upon which our health care costs are determined.