Sunday, November 19, 2006

Doctors drive me crazy!

Perhaps I shouldn't say that because I am a doctor. But, of course I can say that! I just did. Anyone can say that no matter what his or her profession. Today, my rant is about podiatrists. Don't get me wrong; I know many excellent podiatrists. It's just I've been struggling with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome after my ankle ligament reconstruction surgery last year, and I've been to many many podiatrists and am in need of new orthotics. I have a whole drawerful of $400 custom orthotics that do not control my overpronation since I have acquired weakness in my intrinsic muscles (and therefore have a collapsed arch) due to tibial nerve damaged (confirmed by Nerve Conduction Study). I just do not understand why, when you are in the podiatrist's exam room, he has you SIT in a high chair with your feet hanging over the end the whole time. You see, I do NOT have pain with sitting. I do not have problems with my feet out in front of me. I even have a nice arch in this comfortable non-weightbearing position. I only have trouble with standing and running, i.e. with weightbearing. So, why is it podiatrists do not examine you in while you are standing or walking or - god forbid -running? Why do they insist that they can cast my foot in this non-weightbearing position (where I have no problems) and that their orthotics (which are the same as the other 6 pairs in my drawer) are going to work any better than the others casted the exact same way? Why am I treated as if I am a pest when I ask to be examined standing or walking or - god forbid - running? Geez! Even I have my patients walk if they have pain with walking! Doesn't that make sense? Sure, that alone doesn't substitute for a table exam, but I now understand why my patients seem at first confused, and then excited, when I ask to see them walk. I can only guess I am the first one to look at that. I was trained that way, so the discrepancy is glaring to me. Why, even as a doctor, do I get shunned for suggesting such an outlandish idea? It's wrong and very frustrating.

Many of my friends complain that their doctors don't listen or don't help or make them feel as if they are just taking up their valuable time if they ask "stupid" questions. That really irks me! For the record, I am often treated exactly like you.

May I never treat you that way.

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