Dr. Suneel Dhand believes that a lot of the medical system is a complete and utter scam, despite working in acute care, and shares a couple of recent stories to highlight this point, and to make you aware of the billions made in unnecessary testing so you can avoid the same trap.
The Medical System is a Complete Scam: You may want to Stay Away
Dr. Sunil Dhand believes that a large part of the medical system is a scam. He avoids interaction with the medical system as much as possible, including not having a primary care doctor and not seeing dentists or optometrists.
Despite this, he works in acute care hospital medicine and emergency rooms, which he believes the United States excels in. He thinks the speed of getting care in the US for emergencies is extremely high compared to other countries. But the US medical system is terrible at dealing with routine issues and outpatient appointments.
He has been in the United States for over 10 years and avoids interacting with the medical system unless it’s for acute care or emergencies.
Dr. Dhand has good metabolic health and does his own lab work and monitoring but acknowledges that most people need doctors for various reasons.
His glasses broke, and he visited a local optometrist in the United States for a new prescription
The optometrist found an unusual shape of his optic disc and suggested referring him to a specialist for glaucoma or raised eye pressure
Dr. Dhand questioned her further and disclosed that he was a doctor, and she then told him that his eye pressure was perfect. He has an unusual shape of optic disc, which runs in his family, but he has never had any eye problems.
During an eye appointment, the optometrist suggested referring him for an urgent scan of his eyes to check his optic discs. He did not think it was necessary, as he has had this issue since he was 18 and his eye pressures were fine, and he is a medically trained doctor. He declined, but the following week, she had referred him to a specialist anyway and he started getting their calls.
He researched the scans the optometrist was recommending and found out they were very sophisticated and expensive.
The US medical system works in a very corrupt way, where even for minor conditions, patients are put through expensive and unnecessary tests, and that an estimated $200 billion annually is spent on unnecessary tests, which may even be closer to a trillion dollars.
His Dentist Experience
In the US, dentists deliberately over-diagnose conditions and propose treatment plans to make money.
He recounted an incident where a dental assistant suggested an oral cancer screening that he didn’t consent to, and asked the dentist questions about the incidence and prevalence of oral cancer and false positive rates. The dentist didn’t know how to answer his questions, and the appointment ended poorly. Dr. Dhand has stopped going to dentists in the US and goes to facilities in the UK and overseas instead.
So for all you people listening out there, especially those who are not medically trained and can’t take healthcare decisions into your own hands as much as I can, how can I help you? What advice can I give you to avoid these situations for unnecessary expensive over-testing?
Well, the first thing I would say is when you interact with a healthcare professional, whether it’s a doctor, a dentist, an optometrist, whatever, if you go to them for a problem and then they try to divert you to something else, that should raise a red flag. Unless the issue is something urgent, why are they trying to divert you for tests which have nothing to do with what you came in with? That would be my first piece of advice.
Dr. Suneel Dhand’s advice on avoiding unnecessary medical testing:
If a healthcare professional tries to divert you to other tests that have nothing to do with the issue you came in with, this should raise a red flag.
If you suspect a referral is unnecessary, ask the clinician if you can choose who you get referred to and observe their reaction. If they become defensive or coy, this should also raise a red flag.
Use Google to do your own research. Dr. Dhand believes that Google is one of the best things to happen to patients in many years and that staying informed is crucial.
(Note: I would avoid Google like the plague and look to those places that Google censors instead, but totally agree with doing your own research ~ Penny)
Never be afraid of a second opinion. No clinician who is worth their salt will mind if you get a second opinion, so go to a trusted source and get a second opinion.
But look at my experience. The one time I thought I would give the system a chance, they totally tried to screw me over, do an unnecessary test which I told them was not necessary. So needless to say, it will be a long time before I plan on going to an optometrist again in the United States.
If something like that happens to me as a doctor, imagine how many millions and millions of people out there are being shuttled through the system, having unnecessary tests?
“Scam” may seem like a strong word to some, but I don’t think it’s a strong word. Scam, scam artist, use whatever word you want.
Is it the fault of the optometrist that day? I don’t really blame her. I think she works in a system which is completely corrupt. Who knows what backroom deals had happened to get that optometrist to automatically follow protocol and write a referral for a test like that? And as I said, when I did research on what these tests involved, they were highly sophisticated and very expensive.
So, everyone out there, please keep your eyes open. I will continue to do everything possible, everything humanly possible in my power, to stay away from routine medical interactions in the United States. I have no interest whatsoever, and it’s a shame that I need to say that because I think there are some good doctors and other medical professionals out there who want to do the right thing but are trapped in a terrible, terrible system, and this is more than simply just practicing in an environment of litigation and wanting to do everything possible to rule out any rare causes.
There is more at play here. It’s totally money-driven. Of course, we know the rule: follow the money. That’s why most bad things happen in life. But not that time with me. I, as a doctor, saved myself from going through the system and getting scammed.
Truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper, ever trying to 'figure it out'. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, & random points of interests.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not medical science or medical advice. I do not have any medical training aside from my own research and interest in this area. The information I publish is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, disorder, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition. I just report my own results, understanding & research.