Sometimes you’ve got to call it like you see it. And the way I see it, the ends totally justified the means!
I attended a meeting on Monday night, paid for by a drug company, specifically the one that makes the latest and greatest DMT (disease modifying therapy) for multiple sclerosis. This is the usual way that drug companies introduce, and soft sell. medications to the target market of MS patients. The guest speakers are always local neurologists, who speak knowledgeably about MS, and the plusses and minuses (more of the former, less of the latter) of the new therapies. The drug company also provides a free meal for the attendees, kindly souls that they are. When you think of how many new DMT’s have been released in the past few years, you can see how an enterprising MS patient could eat for free on a regular basis!
As I had been told, Dr Goodin was the guest speaker at this meeting. What a fortunate coincidence for me! Given that his staff all assured me that he would absolutely NOT see me until he received my files and MRI from the MS center in London, Ontario, I was getting a bit desperate! I have less than two weeks worth left of my MS drug, Gilenya. Since I can’t seem to get a response from the folks at Dr Kremenchutzky’s office in London, I feel like I’m really, really running out of options. Thus, the motivation for me inviting myself to this event!
It was an interesting presentation, and a tasty dinner. BUT, the best part of the evening came when dessert was being served. That was my cue to get up and saunter over to where Dr Goodin was sitting, and slip him my, uh, envelope! I had written down all the salient facts that I felt would make him want to take me on as a patient, with or without files! I put the best points in bold type, and underlined it, just to make sure it would draw his eye.
I am the fifth member of my immediate family to be clinically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Sure enough, a quick scan of the note and he picked up on that fact immediately. He then proceeded to assure me that he’d happily add me to his roster, and get his nurse to pursue to the files and the MRI. All I needed to do was contact his nurse, Marcia, and ask her to ‘squeeze’ me in. Whew! Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
Well, I called his nurse, and she laughed. She also assured me that all was well, EXCEPT Dr Goodin apparently really doesn’t understand the way things really work, in this pay-for-service US medical system. Apparently, signing on to Dr Goodin without the files and referral from Canada means that either I start off paying cash for my initial appointment (his rate is $950 for a half hour), or I ask my GP to refer me. I’ve sent an email to Dr Hiroshima, asking him to do the honours, so we’ll see how that plays out.
Until further notice, please keep your fingers crossed for me!