My wife E. Ginger and I both experienced hospital stays last spring, at two different hospitals in Atlanta, and our experiences were quite different.
I was perfectly satisfied and happy with the experience I had, while I told the hospitalists who treated my wife that if I were the hospital CEO they'd be fired for poor patient care.
I am now 83. I had two procedures in May for spinal stenosis, provided by a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon. The bottom line is I had an excellent outcome. I'm still recovering and getting physical therapy, but the back pain I had is all gone. I've gotten my strength back and my sense of balance has improved significantly.
When I graduated from medical school in 1958, the brightest students weren't going into orthopedics because it wasn't a very challenging specialty. They went into internal medicine or other specialties. But orthopedics is now a very challenging, exciting and rewarding specialty, and it's drawing bright youngsters.
In addition, we now have whole array of other health professionals aside from physicians playing important roles in patient care, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physical and occupational therapists.
These other professionals played an active role in my care, providing help and information when the orthopedist wasn't available. The physician assistants would frequently visit me in my hospital room. I was willing to have a team of people providing my care, rather than one person. And that team worked well.