How lousy our doctors are and why... and what it means...

  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Sep 15, 2008 5:18 AM GMT
    I was reading through one of the RJ articles on tanning and I couldn't help but start laughing at the dermatologist who was being quoted.

    My brother returned from a trip a few months ago from the Dominican Republic with a pretty bad (and easily defined) case of scabies. When I saw the lesions, I figured out in two seconds what he had. He went to a dermatologist who our GP insisted was the best in our borough. She diagnosed him with acne and sold him a $95 body wash her office carried and an antibiotic cream. Of course, his health insurance didnt cover the cream and he went out of pocket for about $80. After two weeks of getting even worse, he finally convinced his GP to give him a treatment specifically for scabies. Predictably, it cleared up in about four days.

    I have a horror story from dealing with dermatologists too... but I'll stick with one at a time.

    How is it that a 24-year old with limited medical training who at best did mediocre in just about every university-level science class he ever took was able to get a correct diagnosis when a woman who went to top universities and medical schools (market value: $250,000) and is actually well-credentialed could not?

    I'm interested in hearing if you guys have any other stories like this, if you think our doctors in general are retarded, and if there are any implications on our system of health care as a whole.
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    Sep 15, 2008 6:06 AM GMT
    A dermatologist who doesn't recognize scabies is pretty pathetic. That's like a cardiologist who doesn't recognize congestive heart failure.

    I have lots of personal examples of medical incompetence, but since they're about the VA they don't count. They would be horror stories if one expected better from the VA, but they're merely par for the course.
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    Sep 15, 2008 7:08 AM GMT
    Physicians (I hate calling them doctors), are not God, yet many think they are. They are people like you and me and make mistakes. Many think they know whats wrong instead of admitting that they do not know.

    Call your physician out! ask questions and don't let them bully you, fire them! and get another, you can change physicians.

    It is impossible to definitively diagnose almost anything by just looking at a person. Even scabies: they rule it out, that's it! let's see what it isn't and eventually they figure it out through the process of elimination. Pretty sad, but that's what we got.
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    Sep 15, 2008 2:04 PM GMT
    EMSman saidPhysicians (I hate calling them doctors), are not God


    But charge as if they were icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 15, 2008 2:12 PM GMT
    My doc diagnosed and treated me for depression for two years when I really suffered from a bad thyroid and CANCER! .... icon_eek.gif .... I have learned to interrogate the hell out of a doctor ...and demand tests!
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    Sep 15, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    A "former" Dr. of mine excused lab test results for close to 9 years. As my symptoms progressed and after 2 surgeries, I went to another Dr. Within 15 minutes of being in his office he diagnosed a tumor that had been growing for at least 10 years. It was removed and my tests were normal within hours of the tumor removal however the nerve damage is now permanant~