Thursday, April 08, 2010

Lousy podiatrist

When I injured my toe a couple of years ago, I decided to look for a podiatrist who was as close as possible to my office. I reasoned that the injury didn't look severe, so I wasn't about to hunt around for the most experienced person.

That was a mistake.

First, she misdiagnosed my condition. Based on my x-rays, she said that I had a predislocated toe, and she gave me instructions on how to wrap it for proper healing. However, after reading about this condition on the web, I realized that her diagnosis didn't seem right. Indeed, another podiatrist confirmed that she screwed her diagnosis up and failed to consider other symptoms. (He said, for example, that an x-ray alone is not sufficient for diagnosing this problem.)

And how did she give me instructions for wrapping the toe? By trying to describe the process over the phone. That's no good. What you should do is demonstrate it to the patient so that there is no risk of being misunderstood. At the very least, provide some sort of written instructions with pictures, for pity's sake.

She also told me to go get some horseshoe pads. What she didn't say is that these things are not available in drugstores. I'd expect a physician to be reasonably familiar with what's available in drugstores and what is not. Heck, as it turns out, these items are not in common use, so she should have at least said that I might have to search on the internet for them. Indeed, I'd expect that if she were any good, she would at least recommend a few places (at least one!) that did offer these items.