The Battle Against Cancer-18(The main doctor)

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The series of The Battle Against Cancer is the illness record from August 2008 until end of December 2010.

The following article is continued from Feb 11, The Battle Against Cancer-17.


I was very lucky patient to have a very good doctor as my main doctor.

When I first went to a clinic adjacent to my home to get a check of the swelling of the left side of my neck, I was told that it was merely a bleeding in the muscle.

As the swelling didn’t disappear even after I took the medicine that was prescribed, I went back to the clinic to get the examination again.

As the result I was introduced to the Otorhinolaryngology of the Y hospital.

And at the frist examination, the doctor had seen through that it was an Oropharynx cancer metastasized to limph node of my left side neck.

He had given me an adequate advice as well as suggestion so that I could make my own decision how to get further treatment.

He has helped me a lot to make reservation of the other medical departments to get detailed examination during the periodical examination when the metastasis was suspected in various parts of my body.

As his area of expertise is Otorhinolaryngology, that was the only thing he could do based on the current medical system of the Y hospital.

However, the support of the respective doctors was completely different from that point, depending on each doctor.

There were a few doctors who looked at the data of the computer carefully input by the main doctor and compared with the result of the examination he had done, and gave me further useful advices.

However, such case was very rare.

Most doctors had just made the detailed examination of the part that they were responsible in, and when the metastasis of the cancer was not found, they would just introduce me to the various clinics those were specialized in respective parts of the body.

Most doctors’ attitudes were very businesslike and gave me an impression that their jobs were finished.

I had several times reported to my main doctors about how things were proceeded in the other departments when I was taking the examination and insisted that someone has to be responsible towards my whole body.

In such case, my main doctor spoke with a very puzzled look and said


“I am sorry Mr.Tokura. I know how you feel. But with the current medical system, we can not do anything else.”


Namely, there wasn’t any department within Y hospital that was knowing and grasping about my conditions of whole body.

But this is not just to the Y hospital but more or the less the same with the other large hospitals in Japan.

Most doctors seem to be looking after more than one hundred patients a day.

I have also heard doctors saying such things as

“Our department is making the most profit within the Y hospital.”, “A doctor got promoted faster than B doctor.”

Is quota being imposed to the respective departments and is the competition of the promotion between the doctors made like an ordinary companies in the world that is supposed to be responsible for the human life?

If so, the current system not only for the patient, but must be improved for the doctors as well to regain the original appearance as a doctor.

Most doctors must have had a great sense of mission when they decided to pursue their career as a doctor.

However, the mission seems to have gradually faded away as time went by, spending the busy daily life in the hospital.


Under such circumstances, it seems to be very difficult to increase the time to spend with the patients as well as dedicating
more time to study the latest medicine.

Moreover, unless having a very strong sense of mission, it must be very difficult to continuously keep on thinking the most important thing, i.e.,

“The doctor must look at the patient as a human with a heart not as diseased organ nor ill part”


Continued

都倉 亮 について

1953年生まれ。幼少の頃11年ドイツで過ごし、アメリカンスクールに学ぶ。慶大卒後三井物産に13年勤務。その後会社経営を経て現在執筆を中心に活動。日本の素晴らしい面、世界基準に変えねばならない面を長年の海外生活で培った目で発信して行きたいと思います。
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