Friday, October 18, 2013
Ann Coulter and the Practice of Medicine
by Pa Rock
I did quite a bit of research before choosing a physician when I returned from Japan last year. The doctor that I ultimately selected had a good education from a school that I respected, positive comments on the Internet from medical consumers, a convenient location, and a calm, reassuring manner. Following a year of various medical dealings with this doctor, I have had only positive things to say about him.
Yesterday in his exam room I was confronted with a computer-designed political poster It contained a quote by right-wing extremist Ann Coulter in which the book-huckster said that Democrats had caused the government shutdown because they didn’t want to have to use Obamacare for themselves and members of their staffs.
The statement was a lie – which is par for Ann Coulter – but more than that, it should have never been put on display in a doctor’s exam room. By the time a patient reaches the exam room, as I had, he is fairly committed to treatment and does not feel free to jeopardize his health and safety by openly questioning the doctor’s sanity or moral character.
There I sat, shirt off and completely vulnerable, as a man who apparently had issues with the idea of affordable healthcare for everyone examined the cyst on my back, decided on a medication, and chose a surgeon to remove the mini-volcano. I suddenly had serious reservations about my physician’s judgment, but felt trapped in the process and unable to run for the door.
(Yes, I understand and support the First Amendment. But when a doctor posts his political views on the wall in his inner-sanctum, at eye-level directly in front of the exam table, I start to have concerns. Are these treatments and follow-up recommendations about my health or his wealth? Can I trust the judgment of someone who regards Ann Coulter as a competent authority on anything? He has a legitimate right to express his political opinions, but, by being my physician, he also holds a power position that puts me at a disadvantage in being able to openly rebut with my opinions.)
So I took the prescription and the referral – and then ran for the door, telling the receptionist as I made my exit that I was very offended by the poster.
Now, to mangle a quote by John McCain, it will be a very cold day in Gila Bend, Arizona, before I go back to that medical provider. Maybe I can make it through the next few months without the need of medical services, but, if not, I will definitely take my business elsewhere. That’s how I will express my opinion.