A couple of years back, I got a call from my mother and sister that they were contemplating ‘Knee replacement surgery’ for my mother. They had been to about 4 doctors, each of whom had asked her to take a number of X-rays, then sat them down and explained in detail how the surgery would take place, the costs involved and even went into details of how they would claim it from the insurance company. At this stage, my mother was all ready to go in for the surgery.
I asked her to take one last opinion from one Dr.Derek D’lima from Holy Spirit Hospital. The three of us went to meet him after a few days. When we entered his consulting room with a stack of files and x-rays, the conversation went on like this:
Mother: Dr. I want to my right knee replaced.
Dr: Okay, when do you want to get it done? Let me know when it is convenient for you and I’ll get all the tests done before that.
Mother: Doctor, have a look at the X rays.
Dr: Why? I know what I’ll find – at your age, your knees will be pretty worn out. In fact, I am at least 20 years younger to you and even my x-rays will show worn out knees. But why do you want me to look at the X-rays, you’ve already decided to go in for the replacement.
Mother: But I want your opinion if it is necessary.
Dr: Okay. That’s a different matter altogether. Why do you want to replace it?
Mother: It pains me a lot.
Dr: What if say, your arm pains? Do you think of replacing it?
Dr: I thought so. If the knee is paining, we should treat the pain. I saw you walk into my office. If you can walk, however painfully, you don’t need the surgery. Let us treat the pain.
Needless to say, she is walking fine even now, with a tolerable level of pain.
I read a report that almost 38% of knee replacement surgeries in the US are not required.
So, why am I writing this when I generally write about drab financial matters?
Falling for unscrupulous doctors and going in for unnecessary expensive surgery could really put a dent in your finances!
Thanks and best regards,
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How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb?
It depend on whether the light bulb has health insurance!!