February has been a hectic month for women’s health issues. First, there was a fall-out and reconciliation between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Then, religious organizations fought back against the Obama administration’s plans to mandate free contraception coverage through employers. Now, the news cycle has turned to controversial legislation in Virginia and Alabama requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women choosing abortion. I have followed each of these discussions with interest, but what has really bothered me was another story that got relatively little attention yet indicates a troubling trend in health care politics – the “doc fix."
The doctor leaned in to study the lesion on my forehead. I could see his easy demeanor fall away into a frown, his brows now tightly knitted in concentration. The air was suddenly sucked out of the room. I was afraid I’d vomit on his pristinely ironed white coat. I recognized the expression on his face. It was the same one I’ve worked to control before breaking bad news to my patients. I took a deep breath, bracing for the doctor to substantiate the diagnosis I had already suspected.