As readers of my sister site, Cartagena Surgery know, I am currently hard at work on my third title in the ‘Hidden Gem’ series – with the latest offering on Mexicali, Mexico. But I continue to get comments from readers, friends, and everyone else asking, “Why bother?”
Why bother reading Hidden Gem?
People should read these titles because we can’t assume that all medical providers have been vetted, or that all medical facilities meet acceptable criteria for safe care. It is a dangerous assumption to expect that ‘someone’ else has already done the research. [lest you think this could only happen in Sri Lanka, be forewarned. With new legislation, the critical doctor shortage in the USA will only worsen.]
Medical tourism has the potential to connect consumers with excellent providers around the world. It may be part of a solution to the long waits that many patients are experiencing when seeking (sometimes urgent) surgical care. It also offers an opportunity to fight the runaway health care costs in the United States.
But it also has the potential, if unchecked, unvetted, unverified and left unregulated to cause great harm.
Another reason to read Hidden Gem is to find out more about the surgeons themselves, their training, and many of the new, and innovative practices in the realm of surgery. Often the best doctors don’t advertise or ‘toot’ their own horn, so you won’t find them advertised in the pages of your in-flight magazine as “One of the best doctors in XXX” even if they are. (Many people don’t realize those segments are paid advertisements, either.)
Why bother writing Hidden Gem?
Because ‘someone’ needs to.
I am that ‘someone’ who does the fieldwork to find out the answers for you. I can never assume that it’s been done before, by someone else. I have to start from ‘scratch’ for every book, for every provider and every hospital.
I also believe that the public should know, and want to know more about the people we entrust to take care of us during serious illness or surgery. We should know who isn’t practicing according to accepted or current standards and evidence – and we should know who has/ and is offering the latest cutting edge (but safe and proven) therapies.
Read more about the doctor shortages:
NYT article on worsening doctor shortage (and one of the proposed solutions is a loosening of rules governing the training and credentials of doctors from overseas – coming to practice in the USA).