Patrick Malone is a malpractice attorney who has sued doctors, hospitals and drug companies. Now he shares what he has learned about health care to help keep you out of his office. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid medical errors in the first place? It takes effort and attention to detail, but isn’t your health worth it? Here are nine steps to finding the best medical care–and avoiding the worst.
Guest: Patrick Malone, a leading malpractice attorney in the eastern US. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and author of The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care–and Avoiding the Worst.

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  1. Robby
    Reply

    Thank you for this reassuring information! Nearly 20 years ago, after more than a decade on Synthyroid, my doctor [an internal medicine specialist] suggested that I try Armour. Solved the problem completely.
    Now I won’t stay with an endocrinologist who refuses to use Armour; one told me I’d have to worry about “mad cow disease”.

  2. PK
    Reply

    Take heart! It is not true that Armour Thyroid will no longer be manufactured. I was told the same thing recently by the pharmacy where I had been getting mine, however it is not really the case, as I found out.
    I then went to my local Costco Pharmacy and they said they can presently only get a hold of the 120 mg strength pills. I then personally phoned Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in St. Louis, MO, who manufactures Armour Thyroid. I do not know if there are other companies who make it also, but my supply came in a bottle from Forest. What I was told is that Forest is not discontinuing the product. There has been a false story circulating.
    The rep admitted that there has recently been a major shortage in the distribution of Armour due to the company’s recent lack of ability to get the raw materials necessary to manufacture this high quality product. She assured me that they are solving the supply-side problem and all strengths will be back in distribution soon.
    I am thinking that this issue became a problem due to this recent Swine Flu nonsense somehow being related to the availability of porcine thyroid tissue, which is the major raw material used to manufacture Armour Thyroid. Also, the makers of that awful Synthroid product would rather see Armour fail.

  3. K. R.
    Reply

    Hello All,
    I applaud Patrick Malone for sharing his insights into how we can better take care of ourselves and our loved ones under stressful situations. I am just going through an experience where my daughter, who has multiple medical issues including a history of depression and anorexia, is leaving the hospital after treatment for severe migraine headaches. I found that communication at the hospital desk was lacking.
    For example, after my daughter discussed her (vegetarian) diet needs with a dietitian, she found her subsequent meals included meat! I spoke to the desk nurses who were somewhat defensive but who reluctantly admitted later they had not read the charts carefully enough. They did rectify the situation. It goes to show that being proactive pays off.
    My major challenge with respect to my 41 year old daughter’s medical care resides in the actions her mother (my former wife), who is also a retired nurse. She has assumed the position of family medical expert and becomes offended and defensive if someone offers a view different from her own. Virtually no one “interferes” with her blanket coverage care of her daughter, even though among family members there is a virtual consensus that this relationship is leading to an unhealthy dependency. Should anyone challenge mom’s judgment, there are tears and a feeling that “I am doing the best I can.” The situation almost precludes rational discussion about what might be the best course of action to recommend and seems to be taking the responsibility for health decisions away from my daughter where I believe it belongs.
    Help!
    K. R.

  4. E. H.
    Reply

    Thank you for the show on getting the best medical health/patient advocacy on 10/4/09. I recently experienced all the points mentioned when my mother was hospitalized for low sodium, ended up receiving Lovenox that almost killed her resulting in a bleeding ulcer that led to an emergency GI surgery. She was given the drug prophylactically, not because she had any actual blood clots. It is the protocol and was followed blindly. Outrageous!!!
    Thank God she survived all these conditions, but my sister and I had to advocate for her and speak up to make sure she was getting what she needed. When we complained to the doctor about the Lovenox and its effect, we were told we could get another doctor if we were not satisfied with their care and that night two security guards told us we had to leave because visiting hours had ended.
    We stayed at that hospital every night until our mother fell asleep and came back early the morning practically every day so it was clear that they did not like that we challenged their practice and wanted to keep us quiet. After what we experienced at the hospital, we have come to learn that this behavior is typical – a total and unacceptable disgrace. I have to say that there were doctors who were excellent at the hospital, such as the surgeon who helped save our mother’s life. But on a whole the patient and the family should not have to be on the defensive at such a vulnerable time.
    I send my condolences to Mr. Graedon about his Mom and thank him for sharing his story as well as an example of what many of us have had experience at hospitals. Conversely, I spent time in Mexico some years ago and had to go to a hospital for treatment. I found the medical facilities second to none and the care exceptional, not to mention FREE, nothing in the US could compare and it’s a shame what we have to put up with in the US with healthcare. It is clear that much reform is needed, and shows like theirs really help to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Keep up the good work!

  5. E.H.
    Reply

    I have been hypothyroid for over 20 years and have been on Armour Thyroid for at least 12 and it was helping me. Now it seems the pharmaceutical companies have decided that they aren’t making money on it and they are going to stop offering it. I have also looked for a good endocrinologist and all the good ones don’t take medicare patients. This is in Houston Texas. I’m still looking.

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