I Wonder What Happened To That Patient?

Check this out. What you will see is an article written by Ann Katz, Ph.D., pictured above. Ann is a sexual therapist who met several times with a man diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was concerned about the impact that a prostatectomy would have on his sexual performance. He was concerned because he had two failed marriages and no support network. Not unreasonable concerns under the circumstances.  

But there are some funny undertones here. The man showed up at the clinic, not just once but twice, without an appointment. The one appointment he actually made; he didn’t keep.   Good conversations nonetheless ensued at each of his sessions with Dr. Katz. She felt that she had provided him with all of the information necessary for him to be prepared for surgery.  

Bottom Line. But here’s the kicker. The man simply disappeared from her clinic. Did he have the surgery? Ann doesn’t know, because thanks to confidentiality laws, she can neither go into his chart nor ask his Urologist or the Urology nurses.  

Not a very rewarding outcome for a health care professional trying to do a good job. Got me to wondering how much of this “lost to follow-up” kind of thing happens in various areas of clinical medicine. 

My guess? A lot!

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