If your church is endorsing a "health screening fair," it must be good, right?
A patient I'll call Mildred came to her appointment and handed me a report from a medical screening fair at her church. She wanted to know what to do about it. The print-out said that she had a "mild" blockage in her carotid artery. They told her to discuss it with her primary care doctor (me).
You may have seen the advertisements in your local paper, or even on your local hospital's website. Ads that boast "Important screening tests that COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. All for $129! NO DOCTOR'S ORDER NECESSARY!"
I love America and the free market. I love companies that make a buck with hard work and ingenuity. I love the idea that people are free to spend their money on whatever they want. I'm even open to the idea of DIY medicine. But I don't love when innocent people get fleeced in the name of bad medicine that pretends to be good.
Worse yet, when it happens at church. Commercial screening companies fiendishly target churches to find parishioners looking for healthy bargains. If your local church is endorsing a "health screening fair," it must be good, right?
That's how Mildred was convinced to get ultrasound tests of her neck, abdomen, legs, and heel. Her friends and peers were doing it. It seemed right, and like a bargain -- so many medical tests for one reasonable price. She'd always been healthy, but one never knows. The sales flyer made it seem that she'd be a fool not to get tested. People drop dead all the time having never known they were sick, right?