I am a huge baseball fan and my favorite team is the NY Yankees. Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez was recently diagnosed with a slight meniscus tear of his right knee. He has played through some pain over the last few weeks and was given conservative treatment by the Yankee training staff up until the point that it didn't really improve. Check out this timeline of events:
Friday 7/8/2011 - MRI reveals meniscal tear. I presume the team physician recommends surgery.
Sunday 7/10/2011 - A Rod gets a second opinion on SUNDAY with Dr. Lee Kaplan of Miami.
Monday 7/11/2011 - A Rod has successful surgery and is expecting 4 - 6 weeks of rehabilitation.
That is what I call access to care! From MRI to second opinion to surgery was a cool 72 hours (I surmise that he also needed a pre-op clearance thrown in there as well).
Yes, he is arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game and is also the highest paid player but it is amazing how anyone can get a second opinion with an Orthopedist on a Sunday and have elective surgery the next day!
When we talk of health disparities, this is a prime example of what is wrong with our system. No, I don't expect a consultation to surgery time period of 72 hours, I just wish I can get some of my patients to just see an Orthopedist in the same month.