Imagine having a serious medical ailment and going to see the doctor only to be told that you just need to lose weight. This is what many obese patients in this country hear when they seek medical care for anything from painful joint conditions to shortness of breath. These patients are in essence playing Russian roulette with their health because doctors can’t seem to make it past the person’s weight.
The issue that comes into the picture is that doctors are so quick to say that symptoms are occurring because a person is obese that they often don’t even try to find the root cause of the issue. Something as serious as shortness of breath should be investigated properly to rule out conditions like congestive heart failure or a lung condition.
Some obese patients face trouble getting even basic medical care. Unless the doctor’s office has a scale equipped to handle obese patients, even getting an accurate weight is difficult. Some patients report having to go to junkyard or other heavy duty scales to get accurate weights.
Diagnostic testing, such as getting blood pressure readings or imaging scans, can also pose problems because of the size of the patient. These patients might have to travel long distances in an effort to get proper medical care.
Some might say that these patients brought this upon themselves. This doesn’t have any impact on the fact that all patients deserve medical care. Obese patients who don’t get the medical care they deserve might opt to seek compensation for the failure to diagnose and the effects that it had on their health and wellness.
Source: The New York Times, “Why Do Obese Patients Get Worse Care? Many Doctors Don’t See Past the Fat,” Gina Kolata, accessed Jan. 20, 2017