Trials and Tribulations in Medical Prepping

Frustated with preparing for end-of-life-as-we-know-it medical concerns?  Today a reader and health care provider shares her experience with trying to get her doctor to help her with medical prepping.   

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I personally have been ethical and forthright with my personal health practitioners about preparing for medical disasters in a potential TEOTWAWKI scenario/s. I am sharing some personal experiences encountered here, which all relate to trials and tribulations of finding an MD who is a fellow prepper.

Here are three occasions with three physicians.

The sad reality is that the first, my primary caregiver, was a jewel in the rough, but she closed her practice in my locale and moved far away. Although she herself had not evolved yet to the actual practice of preparing herself or her family, she acknowledged the potential increase of my concerns to be personally prepared, and validated my requests for issuing me Rx’s for broad spectrum antibiotics for my medical storage preps. There was a long standing doctor-patient relationship here with us and one of mutual trust, professional and moral ethics. Of course, my medical competency and antibiotic use prudence was a key component in her granting this Rx transaction.

The next prescription request I made was presented to a specialist I was referred to. Our relationship was short, but none the less, I was prescribed some rarer, older meds due to a personal history of chemical allergies from most of the newer diuretic preparations. Thus, I had to ask this time for an extra Rx to fill for my storage preps of this newly added med. He flatly declined – even though he knows both my husband and I are medical practitioners! There was no further discussion from him on this issue. I thus had to find another specialist who would serve my needs to take care of my medication preps.

This brought me to the latest conundrum. I was referred to another primary physician, since mine had moved away. This time I knew to ask outright about his beliefs regarding Armageddon medicine and prepping before I even let him examine me on the initial visit. I was relieved to find an open mind and also a mutual mindset when it came to the practice of medical prepping. All went well until I became acutely ill with a near-syncopal episode in a public place (I knew I was having a severe allergic medication reaction and took measures to self-medicate with an antihistamine immediately), and was transported to the ER in tachycardia. 

Upon negative labs, ekg’s, and 8 hrs of waiting for the second set of neg CKMB’s and for my primary to end his office hours to come to see me, I was finally greeted by an unknown “partner MD” covering for my MD. My MD was off for an extended weekend. I had never met this MD before. He admitted me to the hospital. I objected, based on my personal knowledge of my medical history and that I had experienced this before, and treated myself with Benadryl and some O2, monitored my b/p and rested. We thus would also have to change medications again. He became outraged at my attempts to treat myself (which by the way worked), and gave me an ultimatum that if I had not agreed to the in-patient stay, that he would remove himself from my case and that I would have to sign out AMA.

You know, I have treated patients for 35 plus years, and I have never treated them with audacity. I even tried to reason with him, that I was going home with another MD, my husband, and we would be fine, and if I had any other untoward symtoms, my husband would have me back there in a flash. But, no. I have to stay. I felt entrapped. I was entrapped. I ended up asking again for the hospital administrator, who was also out of town, and instead was referred to the Sr. Nursing administrator, who was next in charge. She repeated the same words. They took the collaborative path of cohorts instead of listening to my plea. The negotiable offer was made to stay for a 24 hour observation. I complied and stayed and did not sleep a wink the entire night. I then had to wait until the 25th hour and still he never did come back to examine me. I called the administrator again to ask when I could sign myself out. He ended up writing a discharge over the phone, (verbal order), and I went home….quite angry, and had to start all over to find a new primary physician that would be compatible with my needs as a prepper.

One week later, I received a certified CYA letter from this MD, stating he was dropping me as a patient on the basis of Mistrust in Him. Great observational skills on his part!

What did I learn from this experience in reference to medical prepping? It is imperative to seek out by the reference of a friend or another MD whom you trust, to discuss if that physician or practitioner is a prepper themself. Keep searching until you find one that you can trust. Ask all the questions of whom will have access to your personal information and assigned to your care, in his/her absence. Can you sign a contract with your physician to be able to dispense a prescription to you, so you can self medicate when you clearly (and in my case, by license), know what you’re doing, and also agree to relieve that MD from medical harm, malpractice? The working relationship must be based on mutual understanding, respect and trust.

It will be difficult to find a fellow prepping MD, but not impossible. When you do find that MD, honor him or her by referring others to them.

– Anonymous 

Doc Cindy responds:  Anonymous has experienced many of the obstacles to medical prepping:  issues of trust, physician personality, inflexibility of the current system, and hidden concerns.  Why would a doctor be so unwilling to entrust a patient with her own care?  My suspicion is either this doctor has ego problems or he’s been burned before, i.e. – sued by a patient in a similar situation.  Health care providers functioning within “the system” must support the system or face losing their jobs.  Free-thinkers are more likely to be found in small or solo practice.

Related articles:  How to Get Your Doctor to Help You Stockpile Medicine



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About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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4 Responses to Trials and Tribulations in Medical Prepping

  1. Jake, PharmD, PhC, BCPS, PhD says:

    While frustrating…Doc Cindy is 100% correct regarding the legality of the situation. These (in most States) LAWS are in place for the wellfare of all parties involved. Whether a Controlled Substance or not; it isn’t simply ‘frowned’ upon– it is more than likely illegal. The vast majority of States prohibit Rx’ing a (1) blood-relative, (2) family member, (3) spouse, (4) anyone else residing at the same physical address, as well as (5) any other possible conflict-of-interests.

    The anger of the MD probably stemmed from the fact that although you and your husband are licensed-providers; you are NOT licensed to treat yourselves or one another. While your intentions were purely preventative, (and I feel reasonable) the Physician may have been threatened and felt as if you were ‘second-guessing’ them. Remember the old adage: “The Doctor who treats himself has both a fool for a patient and a fool for an MD.”

    I’d just recommend trying another provider. Especially if you’re not requesting the acquisition of Controlled Substances; it IS possible it was just a bad patient/provider ‘run-in’ that had nothing to do with the prepping discussed. Simply be honest and upfront. Honesty is always the best policy. As a Clinician (with prescriptive authority) I wouldn’t hesitate to help someone who honestly presented their intentions to me upfront. However, if I thought they were attempting it without my consent– it would become a problem. I still believe in establishing open/honest communications instead of just terminating the patient/provider relationship. Personally, I think the provider was just a ‘bad apple’ so to speak.

  2. Beth B says:

    Doc Cindy,
    I seem to be having trouble finding “Dr Bob”. Can you point me in the right direction?

    [Check out – Doc Cindy]

  3. GoneWithTheWind says:

    I sympathize with your situation. I do not understand why, if your spouse is a MD, you have to hunt for someone to write you a prescription. And lastly, if I had been your doctor, I would have written you the same letter. In fact, if I had been your carpenter, mechanic, painter, or garbage collector I would have written you the same letter. Have you considered that you may not come across very well in interpersonal interactions?

    • Doc Cindy says:

      Doctors are strongly discouraged from treating their immediate families, and in some instances (for example, prescribing controlled drugs) it is illegal. That’s not to say we don’t sometimes do so, but it is always fraught with some tension. When physicians cover for each other, they clearly don’t know each others’ patients as well as their own, so in effect, it’s like seeing a new doctor – a good argument for seeing a solo physician, though every doctor needs a break now and then.

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