Healing Health Care, One Person At a Time

When I was kid I went to the doctor because of tremendous pain in my feet after playing for too long. It was pretty frustrating to have to stop playing while my friends went on running around and jumping and tackling each other. –My neighborhood was possibly rougher than most :) I remember begging my parents to help me fix my feet. My mom and dad found a Utah podiatrist in the yellow pages and set up an appointment. After my first visit, the doctor was convinced that my short tendons and flat feet required near immediate surgery. I remember him describing to my parents how he would just need to elongate both of my Achilles tendons with three small incisions. Next he would perform a surgery on my left arch to clear away some worn down bones and possibly try to build an arch.

My parents politely asked for the X-rays and the next week I was in a different office getting a second opinion. This new doctor looked at my feet for about 30 seconds and said, “What you need is a sturdy pair of orthotic inserts.” –That was it. No incisions. No clearing away bones. No weeks or even months of recovery. No life time of dealing with a new arch built by a creative doctor. Just a molded piece of plastic in each shoe. To make a long story short, we tried it out and now more than 15 years later, I’m running and jumping as much as my schedule will allow.

I occasionally think about how life would have been different if my parents didn’t know to get another opinion. What if I would have had surgery? What if there had been complications. Who was that first doctor anyways? Who did he go around giving surgery to and were they happy?

When my wife and I were picking out pediatricians, there were a lot of options. Finding a pediatrician in Utah is easy, but to find one that you know will give you the best possible care can be very difficult. There are a number of different doctor rating sites out there, but I learned about one that was developed right here in Utah and my wife and I looked at it right away to make an educated decision about potentially changing doctors. This site is a social entrepreneurial venture of sorts, that is dedicated to informing the public about doctor’s histories and providing a platform for information to be exchanged in near-real-time with hospitals and doctors and their patients. The site is CheckMD.com and with over 700,000 doctors in their database chances are good you’ll find something that interests you.

There’s a video on the site that raises a question I’ve thought a lot about lately. Most people spend days shopping around to buy a car. How much time did you spend finding someone to diagnose your health?

I would personally recommend this site to everyone that has a doctor or knows someone who does… Yeah that’s right. Just about everyone :)

4 thoughts on “Healing Health Care, One Person At a Time

  1. tannerc

    It’s incredible that we have this great technology that makes finding the right answer to a problem (whether it’s foot pain, or something completely different) so easily.

    CheckMD looks like a great website (though I haven’t tried it out myself just yet), and I’m glad you – and many other – bloggers are around to share such great links.

    It really is amazing. (Speaking of amazing, if you get a chance please let me know what you think of my new website: http://www.ToSimplyDo.com?)

  2. Dr.Robert Yoho

    The funny thing is I am a Doctor, yet while mountain climbing I had what I thought a minor foot injury. As it turned out several bones were warping against each other and surgery was the only cure. If any patient of mine had the same experience I would of course immediately recommend x-rays,etc.
    thank you for the post
    Dr Yoho Pasadena California


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