Subsidized Health Care: a view from the exam room

I learned a lot about the cost of health care when I had a hybrid general surgery practice in California 's rural San Joaquin Valley.  My practice consisted of uninsured women with breast cancer combined with a smaller percentage of cosmetic patients whose cash payments for "vanity care" subsidized the treatment of women unable to pay for needed medical treatment. Although patients seeking cosmetic services tend to be healthy, I evaluated them like any other patient.  I asked about medical history, allergies, medications and genetic disorders.Upon questioning Sherry S., a pretty 46-year-old seeking wrinkle relief, I learned that four of her immediate family members had been diagnosed with breast or colon cancer before the age of 50.  Alarmed, I asked why she had not had the recommended screening mammogram for more than four years.She said that she knew already that her risk for developing breast cancer was likely higher than that of most women. "But I...(Read Full Article)

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