[I am falling further and further behind in posting because showering, washing dishes and doing the laundry and grocery shopping is sucking all the energy out of me. No strength left. I do some writing but can’t get anything finished. At the beginning of January, the county authorized me for 14 hours a week of home health aides. It is now the middle of April and I have not received one iota of help. If I don’t get any help by next week, then I’m initiating legal action against the county. The law says I should be getting help, but the county—as always—does not follow the law. Meanwhile, I’m going to post some of my unfinished blogs just so you’ll know what you’re missing.]
So I went to see Dr. Andras Perl at Upstate University Hospital because on one of the psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology (PNIE) web sites I had found him listed as an immunologist. At the time of my appointment I was being interviewed by a fellow—a fellow is a person who has completed medical school, internship and a residency and now wants to do research.
My subjective impression is that virtually all of the fellows at Upstate are foreign-born. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that except that often the fellows’ English is pretty poor. And these fellows are not hiding out in a lab talking to Bunsen burners; they are also doing clinical work and—call me fussy—but I like to have a doctor I can understand.
So in my first go-round I am in the Rheumatology Clinic to see Dr. Perl and being interviewed by a fellow. I ask him a question. He replies “Oh, I wouldn’t know about that. You’d have to see an immunologist—oh, Dr. Perl is.” So we proceed and, ultimately, Dr. Perl refers me to Upstate’s Joslin Diabetes Center, where I am seen by Dr. Tulsi Sharma.
Much later (like ten minutes ago) I go on-line to learn something about this foreign-born person whom Upstate calls “Doctor.” What I find is virtually nothing. If there is one thing a doctor does, it is build a massive curriculum vitae, which is fancy-people’s way of saying “resume.” (The functional difference is that a resume is no more than two pages and a curriculum vitae is no less than two pages.) Check out your medical specialist and you will find pages and pages of information about where he went to school (including all foreign countries), what degrees he has, where he’s worked, what research he’s done, what papers he’s written and what awards he’s won.
After diligent searching, what is available about Tulsi Sharma is that she has been working at Upstate for five years, and that on “MyChart”—what Upstate tells me—she has an M.D. On other internal Upstate pages it says that Sharma has an MBBS. What Wikipedia says is that an “MBBS is an abbreviation for Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae, or Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in English, the degree given to doctors in countries following British tradition.” Another site says that whether or not an MBBS is the equivalent of an MD is all dependent on what courses were taught in the country that granted the MBBS degree.
Am I being seen by a physician or a technician? From Upstate’s on-line information there’s no way to tell. From “Doctor” Sharma’s behavior, I’d guess she’s not much above a secretary. According to a psychologist, in America the average physician has an I.Q. of 120. I know a couple of really smart physicians. In order to get an average, those physicians have to be balanced out by a couple of other physicians who are dumber than mayonnaise. I’ve known them, too. (See also psychiatrists Thomas Falcci and Roger Levine.) . . .