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Damn Doctors!
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a chronic cough and chest conjestion after bad bronchitus in the spring. It took a couple of doctors and a lot of tests before a pulmonologist told me I have asthma caused by the bronchitus. This seems odd, but I guess it is plausable.

I am having so much trouble that I am worried about staying in Korea. I spent last month in Australia and was much better, not I am much worse again. I am really worried about the medical care here (one hospital tried to hospitalize me for a month for a broken foot, and the compulsory I.V. in the E.R. is unbelievable.)

Someone I know here, who is Korean, almost lost her husband to a badly botched surgery- and he is a surgeon at the same hospital where he was operated on! He is still not out of the woods.

I imagine that the problem in part is that Korea has been a poor country, and basically third world, until very recently. I am going to be very careful about my health care from now on. I am spending a lot of time on webmd.com these days, so when I have a problem I have as much information as the doctor (unfortunately, sometimes this is not difficult.)
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should scare some people that the doctors here can be this bad, but since I started working at a university that gives us a **suggested grade curve** so that **80 percent** of the class gets a B- or better, it doesn't surprise me that these doctors could be so bad! I can't imagine Korean grad or medical school being any more serious than undergrad school, and probably more corrupt. Who cares about the diplomas on the wall (if any)! Let's see if prospective patients can have a look at their transcripts first. Smile
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Squaffy



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Damn Doctors! Reply with quote

dutchman wrote:
Impetico
a)HIGHLY contagious
b)WASH the infected areas often.
c)Apply antibiotic lotion 4-5 times a day (the doctor has been doing it once a day).


Impetigo
- a classic water borne infection - don't worry - it's not life threatening. Can you get your hands on some Calomine lotion? (pink color).

The antibiotics from the doctor will do the job - and some soothing calomine lotion will also help.

You'll be OK - kid too - I know, it's scary - be strong.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:16 am    Post subject: Re: Damn Doctors! Reply with quote

Squaffy wrote:


The antibiotics from the doctor will do the job - and some soothing calomine lotion will also help.

You'll be OK - kid too - I know, it's scary - be strong.


I thought everyone had 'school sores' when they were kids.


Squaffy's right there not that bad just a bit uncomfortable but the antibiotics should do the job.

Quote:
Here's the thing: I was TOLD that I was NOT having asthma problems as people with asthma ALWAYS have a whistling sound when they wheeze. ?!?!


This really scares me. Like I said, I'm slack when it comes to asthma management, but as you know things can go from bad to really bad really quickly. I want to go to a doctor that knows to give clg steriods when I can't breathe properly. Hmm maybe I should hunt out a local quack before hand so I don't die.

CLG


CLG
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matthews_world



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Coming to a norae-bang near you!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad I haven't needed to see a doctor while I've been in Korea for 8 month. I'm pretty lucky.

In the States, I was never really accident-prone. I got a flu maybe every 2 years. Never have seen an emergency room since my high school days.

I normally have good health, eat right, don't smoke, don't drink, don't put myself into any dangerous situations. I'm superstitious like that. It's an anal thing.

Thank God I haven't had food poisoning yet. I'm the same way when it comes to the food I chooses to eat.

I had the Western flu in early spring. The flu where the pollution I guess makes you ill or something like that.

Use some good common sense. Watch what your doing.

Sounds like an AFN service message but it's true. Be careful out there!



Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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dutchman



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: My backyard

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 5:19 am    Post subject: Re: Damn Doctors! Reply with quote

Squaffy wrote:
dutchman wrote:
Impetico
a)HIGHLY contagious
b)WASH the infected areas often.
c)Apply antibiotic lotion 4-5 times a day (the doctor has been doing it once a day).


Impetigo
- a classic water borne infection - don't worry - it's not life threatening. Can you get your hands on some Calomine lotion? (pink color).

The antibiotics from the doctor will do the job - and some soothing calomine lotion will also help.

You'll be OK - kid too - I know, it's scary - be strong.


I'm not sure if this is supposed to be condescending but, that's not really the point is it Squaffy? The point is this DOCTOR had no clue what to do about it. He told us to do exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.

Also, I was never really concerned about our four year old boy. I knew he'd get over it. It's our 4 week old daughter I was concerned about. Had we known it to be highly contagious we could have taken more precautions. Do a search of impetigo and check out the pics of babies with it. It can be very serious.

Anyway...all is well. The second doctor set us up with stronger antibiotics and sounder advice. He's healing up nicely now and the baby is fine.
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Not Angry



Joined: 31 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went to the Doctor last Saturday for a high fever and three days with a very unpleasant stomach. I took along a korean translator to make sure that my problems were known to the doctor. After a short examination she writes a prescription and I am on my way. "What, no blood test." I tell my translator that I think it is more serious than a little upset stomach. She says the doctor knows best and I should just try the myriad of medicine the doctor has prescribed. My fever broke 24 hours later but my stomach just was not getting better. On Monday I show up at the same doctor again with an American friend who speaks Korean fluently. This time I find out what was actually going on. The doctor told my friend that the problem was the airconditioning and eating a drinking cold fluids. I started laughing. I insisted that it was something more serious and that I needed some proper medication. She said ok and gave me six days worth of meds this time. Like many others before me I was shaking and chilled. I stopped taking them. Woke up yesterday with the fever back and the same stomach problems. Finally, this morning my fever broke naturally and I am feeling better. I guess my immune system finally kicked it. It was the first time I went to a Korean doctor and it will be the last. I heard there are some western trained doctors at a hospital in Samseong-dong. Going there next time.
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mysteriousdeltarays



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Food Pyramid Bldg. 5F, 77 Sunset Strip, Alphaville

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some very good doctors in Korea, bust having said that I should point out that by and large they are traind in trauma, gunshot wounds etc.

Years ago I had a female doctor as a student, she had graduated from SNU but was having a hard time due to her gender.

She told me many things. Many were very frightening. One that remains clearest in my mind was a warning about private hospitals. According to her, many of the "doctors" in private hospitals aren't really doctors. They are brother-in-law wearing a white coat who is expected to "perform" a home pregnancy test etc.

You show up, they panic and start ad-libbing.

The university hospitals although seriously over-crowded (for a very valid reason) are pretty good. Even the public health service is good. They employ recent graduates working off their student loans so to speak.

In any case you should familiarize yourself with the Merck Manual of Treatment and Diagnosis on line. You'll probably need a medical dictionary but you can open up one easily simultaneously.

Familiarize yourself with it (not the home version) then go in and tell them exactly what is wrong with you.

Check out the parasitology section alone for thrills and chills. Incidently the Korean Journal of Parasitolgy has a fascinating web site in English.

The aforementioned female physician (who works at Yonsei now) first filled me in on the intestinal parasites. Something none of the locals want to talk about (it makes them look third-world.)

We who are about to (or have already) died Salute You!
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Real Reality



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:37 pm    Post subject: Doctors are people, too. Do they know? Reply with quote

Malpractice
A recent study has found that 1 out of every 100 people admitted to the hospital are injured as a result of the negligence of their caregivers. This does not take into account those who are treated incorrectly at their doctor's office, or prescribed inappropriate or incorrect medication.
http://www.victorialaw.bc.ca/injury/medical-malpractice.htm

Mentally ill doctors face stigma from medical profession
"It really needs to be understood how much of a physical illness (depression) is, just like every other physical illness," says the doctor who has now recovered from the episode of depression. "It's important that people understand that and not judge."

Dr. Michael Myers, a Vancouver psychiatrist who has made it his mission across North America to battle the stigma of depression among doctors who are too ashamed to reveal their illness and get the help they need.
Myers, who exclusively treats doctors, medical students and their families, said his physician patients suffer from various mental illnesses such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar illness. But doctors in general are slowly becoming more open about such conditions, he said.

However, some physicians, especially family doctors and psychiatrists who have access to drug samples, self-medicate before reaching out, Myers said.
http://www.canada.com/search/story.aspx?id=2bcf90f2-d99b-431e-b222-5771c37c391c

Double check before you cut, surgeons told: Devastating 'wrong-side' errors could be avoided if 'cut me' written on correct limb, 'malpractice' on other, MD says.
Canada's surgeons are being cautioned to follow a rule well known by carpenters and seamstresses: "Measure twice, cut once."
The Ottawa Citizen - Sun, Jun 15, 2003

Twenty-four per cent of young American physicians would choose another profession if they could begin their careers anew, according to a survey of newly graduated doctors.
Vancouver Sun - Mon, Jun 30, 2003

Between 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors. (Institute of Medicine, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, 2000.)

Only 5 percent of doctors (1 out of 20) are responsible for 54 percent of malpractice payouts. (National Practitioner Data Bank, Sept. 1, 1990 Sept. 30, 2002.)
http://www.citizen.org/congress/civjus/medmal/articles.cfm?ID=9125

Study on the Transition of Intestinal Parasites in Korea from 1913 to 1989.
The infection rate of Korea is still higher than that of Japan and Taiwan but lower than any other countries in Southeast Asia... It is apparent that the present situation is not satisfactory and in this sense more effective and efficient control program is desirable.
http://www.medhist.org/116a.htm

Human Parasites in Korea
http://www.eymj.org/1966/pdf/93.pdf
Yonsei Med J 1966 December 7
(Note: Old reference but shows what parasites were common in various areas of Korea.)

Parasitic infections in Fish
Of these, Ichthyophthirius multifiliis was the most common parasite in our study, and together with Trichodina sp., caused mass mortality of Sumatra barb Puntius tetrazona at 1 farm. We also found Camallanus cotti and Tetrahymena corlissi from guppies Poecilia reticulata, both for the first time in Korea. Farmers consider these 2 pathogens to be the most serious ones in Korea. Gussevia asota from oscar Astronotus ocellatus, and Gyrodactylus bullatarudis from platy Xiphophorus maculatus were also found in Korea for the first time. We believe that appropriate quarantine practices for tropical ornamental fishes should be introduced because the failure to require and implement quarantines has already resulted in the accidental introduction of exotic parasites to fish farms, and because these parasites can cause further economic losses if they become established in the wild.
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/dao/v52/n2/p169-173.html
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:28 am    Post subject: Sounds... Reply with quote

desultude wrote:
I had a chronic cough and chest conjestion after bad bronchitus in the spring. It took a couple of doctors and a lot of tests before a pulmonologist told me I have asthma caused by the bronchitus. This seems odd, but I guess it is plausable.

I am having so much trouble that I am worried about staying in Korea. I spent last month in Australia and was much better, not I am much worse again. I am really worried about the medical care here (one hospital tried to hospitalize me for a month for a broken foot, and the compulsory I.V. in the E.R. is unbelievable.)

Someone I know here, who is Korean, almost lost her husband to a badly botched surgery- and he is a surgeon at the same hospital where he was operated on! He is still not out of the woods.

I imagine that the problem in part is that Korea has been a poor country, and basically third world, until very recently. I am going to be very careful about my health care from now on. I am spending a lot of time on webmd.com these days, so when I have a problem I have as much information as the doctor (unfortunately, sometimes this is not difficult.)



I ended up getting Pneumonia in my last week of teaching a year-long contract two months ago. Terrible... never been right since. I was in the states for a month and seemed to recover. Now I've been in Korea for a month, and it seems like I cough very easily around smoke. Sometimes I wonder if it is coming back.

Given my current visa situation, I have no health-care and no job.
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derrek,
I remember when you said you were sick. I'm glad you got better.

I think the rate of asthma is very high here in Korea. I have always been vulnerable to upper respiratory infections, but the bronchitus I had in the spring was the worst ever. I never completely recovered, and am now being treated for asthma. During my month in Australia I was better for the most part, except for the days after spending time in a smokey pub.

I am really torn- I really do love my job. But the air quality in Daegu sucks, and I don't like using steroid inhalers every day. I skipped the medications for a couple of days, and today I could hardly speak to teach.

I have serious questions about the doctors here, but the real problem for me may just be the pollution. After you get a job and insurance, go to a good university hospital and get a lung work-up. If they tell you it is asthma, you may have a hard choice to make.

Over Christmas break I am going to a good hospital in Bangkok to get a full workup and decide what I need to do. I need the money, but it is my health!
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Wombat



Joined: 28 May 2003
Location: slutville

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned theophylline. I used to take it regularly, in fairly high doses as a child. I've had chronic, severe asthma since I was born! Eww.

I find in Korea that my asthma tends to get much worse - naturally, with all the humidity and pollution.

The antibiotics thing just kills me - one would think that in a crowded country such as SK, doctors would be fervently avoiding the seemingly inevitable antibiotic-resistance that plagues so many other places.

They hold a lot of strange opinions about ailments here, that's for certain.

Wombat
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think from numbers good old clean green new zealand has the highest rate of asthma in the world (1 in 4 kiwis have asthma).

I found when I intially came here (in winter) it was ok, but that was because the winters here are cold and dry (as opposed to back home of cold and wet). Plus koreans actually heat there homes, whereas the land of the long white cloud pretends that it's a tropical paradise and refuse to insulate, let alone properly heat their houses.

Now summers here, my asthma has got worse. In the absence of a peak flow meter (anyone know where I could buy one?) I don't know by how much but I use my puffer more.

CLG

BTW if anyone knows a doctor who knows their stuff in incheon give me a pm.
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