In Search of Better Stories

This Actually Happened To Me – Health Care, Canadian Style


My hip was hurting again. I’ve put this off long enough, I thought to myself. It was time for me to face the facts. My hip was toast, and I needed to start the process of getting a new one. 9 years of limping needed to end.

Finally after waiting in the lobby of the Walk-in clinic for to long, I got the chance to tell my story to the doctor. I have letters and MRI reports, and X-rays from years past so I was ready.

“What seems to be the trouble?” he asks.

I launch in to my story, showing him what other doctors have said over the course of nearly a decade of hip pain. He notices that the reports which affirm joint deterioration and recommend surgery are from the States.

“F***ing Americans!” He blurts out.

Huh? What? Wasn’t expecting the F-bomb in the doctors office, I’m a little dazed. Before I can say anything he carries on.

“Yeah they don’t care about you, your hip is probably fine, it’s just that they get bucket loads of money for cutting you up!”


“Yeah, man, they get all the money, and we GP’s get nothing up here in Canada, It’s really hard to make it as a doctor in Canada you know.”

At this point I have no idea what to say. Finally I try to get us back on topic.

“Well, the American doctors decided not to operate because I was too young. They said I needed to change my lifestyle and manage my pain, so anyway, I moved to Canada, and tried to figure out ways to avoid surgery and manage pain so I did all kinds of things, like PRP for example.”

“What’s that?”

“Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy” I tell him.

He cocks his head and crosses his arms “Is that some kind of Naturopathic thing?”


“F***ing Naturopaths! — It’s just witchdoctor voodoo s**t man and they make so much money doing it! It’s just really hard for GP’s to make it in Vancouver!”

The second F-bomb had landed as effortlessly as the first. Wow!

It occurred to me, that this was not the guy to help me with my hip today. I began inching my way to the door. Health care, Canadian style, not always helpful, but certainly never boring.

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