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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default What's Up With Doctors These Days?

    If there are any medical doctors in the audience, I do respect your profession. Mankind as we know it would literally cease to exist without you guys and gals.

    But why can't we get a diagnosis without spending thousands on tests, and then sometimes they come up with a blank anyway?

    Yes I know they do give diagnoses. A simple blood screening diagnosed my wife with diabetes type 2. And I realize that things like a broken arm or a sprained ankle or an ulcer are not problem diagnoses.

    But when I go in with a strange rash on my arm, and you stand at your computer for 14 out of 15 minutes not even looking in my direction, what's the point of me coming in?

    Isn't "rash" one of the known symptoms of fibromyalgia?

    You were hemming and hawing over a diagnosis during the 30 seconds that you actually viewed my arm without touching it. Finally, just to get some closure out of you, I said "maybe it's folliculitis," so you turned back to the security of your computer screen and typed in "folliculitis without pus." Is it proper for a doctor to allow ME to make the diagnosis for YOU? And how the hell does someone get folliculitis without pus?

    So you prescribed an antibiotic for one week. One week later, the rash was still there. Two weeks later it apparently vanished on its own power, coming and going with a strange purpose all its own. I didn't go back to the doctor, there's really no point except to waste money.

    And how about this other doctor who hand-waved away my complaint about neck strain by saying, "Everybody gets that." Really? Everybody has chronic neck pain? Everybody has a pain that never completely goes away and requires daily stretching to relieve some of the pain? Wow. I must live on a different planet or something, because very few here seem to have that issue. Just one other guy I knew years ago who wore a neck brace. His neck surgery, of course, had just made matters worse.

    If I was a doctor, maybe I would do the same things. Maybe I should walk a mile in their shoes. Imagine living under the burden of a $100,000 student loan. What would I do? Get a kick-back clinic job, work as fast as I can to get to the golf course a little early, knock the ball around until it gets dark, then go to my nice home and check on stock prices. Then, as soon as I get the loan paid off and my IRA is nice and fat, I will retire at 45.

    Realistically, if I started now, maybe I could retire at 75. But as things are looking now, economically speaking, I will never be able to retire. I should become a doctor.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #2
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    They are not God but people expect them to be. They do their best.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    They are not God but people expect them to be. They do their best.
    God doesn't charge anything.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #4
    ..... Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    It sounds like that doctor was pretty clueless about skin rashes. Maybe he/she should have referred you to a dermatologist instead of trying to google the answer! I try to find doctors that are affiliated with top teaching hospitals that have medical schools attached who also train medical residents and interns. You tend to get better care at those places because they're forced to stay on top of the latest medical knowledge so they can do a good job teaching medical students, interns, and residents.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    It sounds like that doctor was pretty clueless about skin rashes. Maybe he/she should have referred you to a dermatologist instead of trying to google the answer! I try to find doctors that are affiliated with top teaching hospitals that have medical schools attached who also train medical residents and interns. You tend to get better care at those places because they're forced to stay on top of the latest medical knowledge so they can do a good job teaching medical students, interns, and residents.
    He didn't Google it, he got the diagnosis from something I blathered about folliculitis.

    Here's the part I didn't think I had to explain:

    I don't know about the rest of the world, but around here doctors are using either wall mounted monitors linked to a central computer, or a wireless laptop linked to a central computer, as a replacement for their old-fashioned clipboards. Every bit of my medical information has been digitalized. In this particular clinic, the doctor spends 99% of his time facing the computer monitor on the wall typing in information. That doesn't mean all doctors are like that. But 3 people I know, including myself, were examined by this doctor and he didn't even do a routine cardiovascular check-up or test reflexes. When it came to examining my arm, all he did was stare at it.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #6
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    What would you have him do? Cut it off and send it to the lab?

    Doctors pretty much make their best guess about everything (except the obvious, like cuts or broken bones, organ damage etc.)

    Could he have a blood test? Sure. Blood test doesn't necessarily tell why you have a rash, though. It only finds possible indicators and then they pretty much guess - some times with quite reasonable certainty, and some times not. They always have, and probably always will for the foreseeable future anyway.

    There's good reasons that it is like this, and actually how you act and your medical history often tells them more about you than your symptoms do.

    Take the rash with fibromyalgia for example. Maybe it's true that it's a symptom, I don't actually know. But a rash is not an indicator of fibromyalgia, and even if you have fibromyalgia that doesn't mean it caused that particular rash.

    There's overlapping symptoms for everything which makes diagnosis problematic. For example, I have arthritis and it leads to progressive joint deformity in my fingers. (it isn't severe yet, but is just now becoming slightly noticeable) My pinky on my right hand is all gnarled and bent - but you know what? It's not bent because of the arthritis. It's deformed because I broke it before and it didn't heal right. Coincidental symptom.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    What would you have him do? Cut it off and send it to the lab?

    Doctors pretty much make their best guess about everything (except the obvious, like cuts or broken bones, organ damage etc.)

    Could he have a blood test? Sure. Blood test doesn't necessarily tell why you have a rash, though. It only finds possible indicators and then they pretty much guess - some times with quite reasonable certainty, and some times not. They always have, and probably always will for the foreseeable future anyway.

    There's good reasons that it is like this, and actually how you act and your medical history often tells them more about you than your symptoms do.

    Take the rash with fibromyalgia for example. Maybe it's true that it's a symptom, I don't actually know. But a rash is not an indicator of fibromyalgia, and even if you have fibromyalgia that doesn't mean it caused that particular rash.

    There's overlapping symptoms for everything which makes diagnosis problematic. For example, I have arthritis and it leads to progressive joint deformity in my fingers. (it isn't severe yet, but is just now becoming slightly noticeable) My pinky on my right hand is all gnarled and bent - but you know what? It's not bent because of the arthritis. It's deformed because I broke it before and it didn't heal right. Coincidental symptom.
    Rash is listed somewhere on this huge checklist. http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/files/bernechecklist.pdf

    Fibromyalgia is a tough diagnosis to make. The symptoms do overlap with other syndromes. I'm not saying he should have called it a fibro-rash. But I do have a medical history to take into consideration before jumping to a diagnosis - that the patient himself made? I thought patient-driven medical care was a thing of the past. haha.

    Oh well, the rash is gone. Then an itch appeared on my left forearm which I google-diagnosed as brachioradial pruritus, and no rash this time unless I scratched it. The itch was relieved with ice or cold water. This probably means it was nerve-related since this treatment makes the nerves switch from sending an itch sensation to a cold sensation. But even before that I've been having a peripheral neuropathy behind my left armpit which sometimes grows into a bigger patch of invisible hypersensitivity. And there have been other odd things that come out of nowhere.

    Faced with these and many other ongoing symptoms, I feel very helpless against a medical system gone hay-wire.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  8. #8
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Rash is listed somewhere on this huge checklist. http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/files/bernechecklist.pdf

    Fibromyalgia is a tough diagnosis to make. The symptoms do overlap with other syndromes. I'm not saying he should have called it a fibro-rash. But I do have a medical history to take into consideration before jumping to a diagnosis - that the patient himself made? I thought patient-driven medical care was a thing of the past. haha.

    Oh well, the rash is gone. Then an itch appeared on my left forearm which I google-diagnosed as brachioradial pruritus, and no rash this time unless I scratched it. The itch was relieved with ice or cold water. This probably means it was nerve-related since this treatment makes the nerves switch from sending an itch sensation to a cold sensation. But even before that I've been having a peripheral neuropathy behind my left armpit which sometimes grows into a bigger patch of invisible hypersensitivity. And there have been other odd things that come out of nowhere.

    Faced with these and many other ongoing symptoms, I feel very helpless against a medical system gone hay-wire.
    Yeah, that's understandable.

    Maybe he was being neglectful, it's hard to say without knowing about you and having been there.

    Some doctors really do suck, and I sympathize if you meet the ones that do. It just helps to give more of the situation so that we can differentiate between what's often common practice and what's actually a grievance that we can relate to.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Yeah, that's understandable.

    Maybe he was being neglectful, it's hard to say without knowing about you and having been there.

    Some doctors really do suck, and I sympathize if you meet the ones that do. It just helps to give more of the situation so that we can differentiate between what's often common practice and what's actually a grievance that we can relate to.
    I checked him out on the net and his record looks clean after 20 years of practicing medicine.

    And that other doctor who told me "everybody gets that" neck strain: duh. I'm old enough to know that and I don't live in a cave. But they don't get it constantly.

    Hmmm. I think the problem is money related. Maybe these docs are used to being handed big fat hundreds under the table.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #10
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I checked him out on the net and his record looks clean after 20 years of practicing medicine.

    And that other doctor who told me "everybody gets that" neck strain: duh. I'm old enough to know that and I don't live in a cave. But they don't get it constantly.

    Hmmm. I think the problem is money related. Maybe these docs are used to being handed big fat hundreds under the table.
    Might be over work/having too many patients as well. Where I live you typically don't even see a doctor - they only have time to walk in and say hello pretty much, if you're lucky, some times not even that. The practitioners and techs do all the actual work and examining while the doctor just kind of buzzes around from room to room all day every day almost non stop. They simply don't even have enough time in a day to see everyone that comes into the office.

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