Friday, September 20, 2013

My Skill Set No Longer Matches Your Needs

KevinMD continues to be a fertile site for resolving my writer's block.

This is such a great statement that describes how I feel when the Pain Clinic patient shows up asking me to write a letter to fix their disability claim, their WCB case or any of the other jobs I do in the Pain Clinic which they never taught me about in medical school.

Now a lot of the patients I see in the Pain Clinic have been really fzcked over by the system and I used to be happy to spend hours on the phone, fill in forms or write letters I know nobody will read on their behalf. I am really amazed that patients think my opinion is that influential.

I know that most of the patients I see in the Pain Clinic are never going to go back to work but I do my best to try and make them more comfortable and functional. This is difficult sometimes when you spend most of the visit discussing how the patient can maximize their income support from various sources.I have become less tolerable of this complete waste of my time. I now have a stock response to the patient who complains about his treatment at the hands of Workers Comp:

You have 3 options:

1. You can do what they tell you to do.

2. You can hire a lawyer.

3. You can forget about your WCB claim and get on with your life.

For disability insurance problems, I usually advise them to get their union involved (in the small minority who have a union), or get their employer involved (he usually paid the premiums so might be interested). For welfare problems, I advise them to see their member of the legislature (it's amazing, then again maybe not, how few people know who their MLA is). One of the better funded pain clinics in our province actually has an "Entitlement Group" where patients can learn how to navigate the system.

There is of course the patient in whom I do write a letter who brings the letter back demanding revisions or asks for another letter because the letter I sent didn't get the response they were looking for. All this doesn't necessarily make me popular, like the other blogger says, "My Skill Set No Longer Matches Your Needs".

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