Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fighting Words Increase Disability & Loss


Remarks from doctors,, hired by insurers can backfire in a big way. They can hurt the injured person they are assessing. Some remarks can also hurt the insurer the doctor is trying to help.

These are fighting words and they can be very destructive. In fact, they can cause so much extra stress to the injured person that the injured person's injuries become worse. This can lead to even more disability and loss.

Is this really what insurers and defense lawyers want - more disability and loss in their claimants?

A clear example of fighting words was in a medical report I was reviewing, as I prepared for a trial. My patient's lawyer had asked me to be an expert witness in her trial, related to injuries she sustained in a car accident. Here are the fighting words...." she wore her fibromyalgia like a badge of disability".

My patient was crushed when she read this comment. Understandably her depression increased and her ability to cope with her severe pain decreased significantly.

Fortunately, my patient's lawyer loved the comment. He planned to use this (and many related comments by this doctor) to show his cruelty and total disregard for my patients suffering and losses. This lawyer was planning a field day when it came time to cross-examine this doctor.

People in pain deserve a little respect. All health care and legal professionals are obligated to show a little humanity. Otherwise, peoples' losses and suffering will escalate. Then everyone loses.

Caring is not only good medicine - it is also good business.

Yours with care.

Michael

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back From Holidays - With A New Focus

Dear Faithful Readers. I apologize for my lack of contact over the past few weeks. I have been on holidays at a fairly remote cottage, with no real internet access.  That is no excuse, though. I didn't even let you know that I was going to be away. Thoughtless. I am sorry.

I have been doing some hard thinking about the focus of this blog. And I think it is time to get more more detailed and provide more practical help for the millions people who are forced to live every day in pain.

Over 90% of my patients, over the past 25 years, have been individuals who suffer from long-term (or chronic) pain caused by one or more physical injuries. Their physical injuries are usually caused by car or work accidents. Their pain is physical, real and often very disruptive to most parts of their daily lives.

This group of people, who live every day in pain, also have to deal with many additional stresses - stresses and losses related to loss of work, financial strains and conflicts with insurers, worker's compensation and lawyers. This is a whole extra load that can make it even harder to cope with pain and limitations.

The combined impact of the physical injuries, never-ending pain, stresses and losses often triggers even further problems involving poor sleep, irritability, and stresses in their families. I would like to offer some help.

I am hoping that The Chronic Pain Letter can provide some practical help and hope to this very deserving group. My heart goes out to you.

Yours with care,

Michael