There were many reasons why I chose to become a doctor. Firstly, it was not an easy process: I began as a Philosophy major, then an Economics major, and then after dropping out of college, I transferred to my third undergraduate college and became one of those pre-med types.
I felt medicine was a field which guaranteed the opportunities to help others, and which guaranteed rewards--material and philosophical--for doing so. It seemed to me that medicine did not require those who practice it to be politicians or smooth-talkers, but instead simple, conscientious individuals who study their craft and offer to the patient the benefit of all those many hours of reading and studying.
I chose rheumatology because it gives me the opportunity to establish long-term relationships with chronically ill patients--something I find rewarding, particularly in the last few years with the arrival of the so-called biologics. But the arrival of new and expensive drugs challenges both physician and patient, as we must both forever be struggling with the system to keep the flow of medications coming to the patient, despite the constant changes in formulary coverage and co-pay promises. Unfortunately, sometimes the patient must be his own advocate to the extent that he changes insurance in order to receive a superior drug benefit, but lose me as his physician; such is one of the many costs of modern medicine--the interchangeable "provider."
I hope to cover in future blog writings the realities of the insurance coverages and how they relate to maintaining a well patient. I want to share with readers the latest research--without inappropriately raising hopes too high; but I also want to let readers know that there are so many different avenues of research being pursued, and that a cure for any disease must never be considered an impossibility.
I want the readers to know that I will attempt to answer questions they feel they cannot get answered during a pressured visit to the doctor's office, or a brief article in a health magazine. Finally, I hope to learn from every question I am asked to answer.
Published On: May 25, 2006