Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That's What I Call Access to Care!

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.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Our pets have access to near-immediate care too, especially if it’s an emergency. Sad and true. Remember Mickey Mantle got a liver or lungs or some dang transplant despite his horrible self-care history. Didn’t he die like right quick after that surgery too !~!~ Total waste of good organs.

The Nerdy Nurse said...

well that's just... wow.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time. After calling 8 doctors, she was finally able to squeeze in an appointment 2 months out.

Who you know and how much money you have determine whether you live or die... or if you can continue to make millions playing ball.
God Bless America.

nursing informatics said...

As bad as it is in the USA, the UK is a bit more terrifying there. I was terrified to learn there that if you wake up dizzy, and they find out you might have an aneurysm, you have to wait until the next available slot to be seen by a specialist.

And that next available slot might be 6 months out. Of course, you can always go pay a private specialist, but you can imagine the cost for that.

Anonymous said...

If one person can get such access ......it proves it is possible........we can improve our health care. We just need to find people in power with a motivation other than money and a paradigm shift that we are all equal.