The last community interview I performed last week happened on a very cold day so we had to do the interview in the basement. She greeted us with her usual charm and rounds of greetings and then opened up a beautiful Flam Chamine to help warm up the group. As we made our way to the basement, her husband stopped us for a bit in order to introduce her brother who had just had knee surgery and had to stay with his sister for the time being.
After dispensing with the small talk, we finally ended up in the basement. Her husband was in a very effervescent mood. I do not think I ever saw him with a frown on his face. He is a very involved person. He knows how to make you feel like he actually cares. While he sat with us he asked us about how we were doing in school and after we had given him an answer, he told us about the difference between the current course material and what he had to study 50 years ago. He gets so animated when he talks about the past. So much so that I sometimes wish that I belonged to that care free and easy going generation. Things were easier back then, even school was easier to accomplish.
His wife was our teacher. So when she finally settled into the basement with us, we began to ask her about the different problems of her care services. We started off with questions about her primary doctor. She has a primary doctor whom she trusts so much and also a hospital doctor who was there in cases of emergencies. Most of her patient cases are senior citizens whose expensive medical needs are shouldered by Medicare or health insurance. She told us that these people were very lucky to have the capability to afford health care plans in this day and age.
Our conversations then turned to the various problems facing healthcare and how some people manage to have it and others do not. She related that she knew how to take care of herself but, she had a monthly doctors appointment just the same. What she would do is write down all the questions that she wants to ask her doctor in advance so that she would not forget anything when she was already in the doctor’s office. Her prescription medicines are filled at Walgreen pharmacy but she does not have to go there in person to do it. She said that these days, it is a lot easier to get the medicines that you need even if you cannot leave the house because they delivery it to her doorstep. She said that she owes her doctor more than she does the pharmacist because the doctor answers her medical questions while the pharmacist just handles her medications. Our visit ended with our usual Vital Signs check up, usually a blood pressure check.
This visit showed me how people can actually suffer from lack of healthcare. Economics plays an important part in getting the best healthcare. You need money in order to afford a good healthcare plan that will provide for the proper medical examinations for you and your family. the rich can afford private health insurance while be poor are subsidized by the government to a certain degree. However, if you do not have any sort of healthcare plan because you cannot afford it, you are basically putting your life on the line.
The reality is that healthcare costs a lot of money. A doctor in eastern Europe can make anywhere from $40 thousand to $50 thousand a year. In these United states, a doctor makes 4-5 times that amount. Here, money talks and buys you health. It is sad that only a fraction of the population can afford to buy healthcare though. Which is why something should be done in order to make healthcare affordable or universal for everyone. Seeing how hard it is for most people to be able to get the proper healthcare they need has helped me realize that if I believe that my destiny lies in becoming a pharmacist, I must make sure that I do my part in order to help make healthcare affordable for my community. I should not rob them by over pricing the medicines I sell to them. Instead, I should make sure that I treat them in a fair and charitable way. Perhaps give a free medicine allocation to those who are deserving of it or discounts on medicines for the people of a certain age. Whatever it is that I decide to do for my community as a pharmacist, I am sure that it will help make me a better pharmacist in the future.