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Phone chat with Natasha

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Natasha: “Hi Doc, how are you?”

Dr: “Hello Natasha, I’m fine. How are you?”

Natasha: “I am not so good. When are you coming to St Lucia? I’m getting migraines again. Can you please test my eyes when you come? Thanks much.”

Dr: “Natasha are you sure the problems are coming from your eyes? If I recall, you received your last pair of glasses just under a year ago.”{{more}}

Natasha: “I don’t know, but I’d like you to check my eyes.”

Dr: “Have you checked your blood pressure? How about sinus problems? You do know that headaches can come from other sources and not necessarily your eyes?”

Natasha: “No to blood pressure, yes to sinus. I think I’m stressed out right now. I would prefer you to check my eyes because I think you are much better than the people here.”

Dr: “Natasha, people usually trust the ‘overseas guy’ more.”

Natasha: “Yes, they do.”

Dr: “Why is that so?”

Natasha: “Not sure. Sometimes there is no faith in the locals and sometimes they are not that experienced.”

Dr: “I believe it may be more a case of lack of trust. Usually we listen to a lot of stories that others, especially those who are close to us, who have no medical expertise, and we take their word for gospel.”

Natasha: “Oh, ok.”

Dr: “And if the stories are in any way negative, we tend to conclude that the Dr is negative and no good.”

Natasha: “Explain that please, Doc! How do you mean exactly?”

Dr: “The same respect that you give to doctors outside of your country is the same respect the doctors in your country would want. Nobody studied at the University of ‘No Knowledge’. They all went to distinguished universities and they all came out with adequate qualifications and while, admittedly, skill and experience play a role, oftentimes the kinds of reasons why a patient may refuse to see their local doctor may just be due to a lack of faith in the system.”

Natasha: “But what if I feel that the diagnosis is wrong? It’s only fair that I get a second opinion.”

Dr: “Nothing wrong with second opinions. However, it is important to go back to the same doctor first to let them know that the treatment is not working, so that they know what to change.”

Dr: “Did you know there is a joke about second and third opinions? When you go to the doctor for the first time and they give you treatment for your problems, if the treatment is not working and you choose not to go back to the same doctor, but go to a different doctor, chances are that there may be only one or two options for treatment. So, if the one that you use is not working, then logically, the only other choice is the other one.

“Furthermore, if that doesn’t work and you choose to go to a third doctor, that third doctor already knows that A and B did not work. It makes their work easier, for they now only have to focus on C. So, the doctors with the second and third opinions end up being the heroes.”

“So, Natasha, all I’m trying to say is that I would like you to go to your local doctor first to make sure that everything is okay. Have faith in the system, because whatever you expect can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Let me hear from you soon.

Regards,

Dr Onu

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.comTel: 784 456-1210

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