Friday, January 2, 2015

When did this happen?

You know how when you go to a new medical provider, you have to fill out a bazillion forms that ask all about your health from the very second you took your first breath up till now? And list all your medications, and surgeries? All of that makes sense to me—sure, I grumble because my handwriting sucks and I get hand cramps writing all that stuff down but I realize it’s necessary for the new medical provider to get a full picture of me and my health.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve noticed an increase in what I’ll call touchy-feely questions. Take these, for example, from a couple of the forms I need to complete prior to see someone who specializes in vertigo (along with my commentary in italics):

A form about hearing
  • Does your hearing cause you to feel embarrassed when you meet new people? This is the very first question on a form about hearing. That just blows my mind, that potential embarrassment would be the first question on the list. 
  • Do you have difficulty hearing or understanding co-workers, clients or customers? Now this question makes sense—but why is it the third question on this form? 
A form about tinnitus—first, a couple that make sense to me:
  • My tinnitus has led me to avoid noisy situations
  • My tinnitus has led me to avoid social situations
And a couple that absolutely don't:
  • My tinnitus has made me unhappy. Snort.
  • My tinnitus has led me to cry. Seriously??
Instead of listing the rest of the feeling statements about tinnitus, here’s a list of the feeling words that are covered:
  1. Annoyed
  2. Depressed
  3. Angry
  4. Irritable 
  5. Confused
  6. Helpless
  7. Distressed
  8. Hopeless about the future
  9. Panicky
  10. Tormented
  11. Despair
Others that I haven't copied sound like leading questions to me (i.e. to get me to buy some device or a treatment that might not be covered by insurance). Overall, this just feels a little scammy to me, similar to the stereotypical used car salesman. Yes, I want to find out what’s going on. No, I don’t want my medical provider to go all emo on me or try to upsell me on things I don’t want, probably don’t need and could well be not all that helpful.

I mean, really. Couldn't these forms just ask if this condition has negatively affected my life? Am I so stupid I need eleven separate questions asking me what I've just said in one?

Have you noticed this too? If you have, does it bother you? Or am I just a cold, unfeeling brick?


Jeanne said...

MDs have taken a lot of criticism for treating only one aspect of the physical problem, so some of them are trying to be more holistic. I don't think this is entirely a bad trend, although some of them obviously aren't sure how to go about it.

kittiesx3 said...

I should have scanned the form and posted it. I mean, yes, I think there's room for some physicians to be more holistic but these forms seem to be more about selling stuff.

Kerry DeBauge said...

OK yes, I'm finally catching up on old posts....

Where I get annoyed: Will the treatment be different if I say YES to "distressed" but NO to "panicky"? Because for ME, tinnitus has made me cry. But, not helpless. Annoyed, but mostly that's because I'm sleep deprived. So, fix the friggin' tinnitus and call me happy. Sheesh.