I had an interesting conversation with my wonderful family Dr recently that I thought I would share. He was as frustrated as I was with my serious health issues that had yet to be diagnosed. I should also note that he is past retirement but so far is still going strong! Thank goodness I would be lost without him.
He wondered out loud about "Today's Dr's" and why they bother to go through years and years of medical school if they are only going to strictly rely on tests to make a diagnosis. He is so tired of referring patients to "new" specialists who refuse to diagnose based on visual symptoms and listening to patients. If the tests do not back up their theory then patients go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. How very sad!
He had told me that he can see a patient who visually has arthritis in their hands. He can see the inflammation, he can feel the inflammation upon examination and the patients description of the pain is consistent with arthritic pain. When he runs blood tests they do not back up what he sees and hears. He informed me that it can take 5+ years for arthritis inflammation to show in blood work. He is confident enough in his ability, experience and medical training to make the diagnosis and provide treatment. There is no reason that a patient should suffer for years untreated because the diagnosis cannot be confirmed with tests. This is the exact opposite of the majority of today's doctors.
Why spend thousands of dollars, and years and years of your time to become a Dr and in many cases extra years of schooling and tuition to specialize, if you are not going to use what you learned? To solely rely upon test results. It has amazed me the number of neurologists that I have seen that did not even want to look at the actual MRI scans for themselves. To double check those test results. I have heard so many times of things that were missed on a MRI, CT, X-Ray by the radiologist that delayed diagnosis. Why not take those 5-10 minutes to check for yourself?
All in all I was lucky to find a Rheumatologist who was willing to: listen to my history, perform her own examination and acknowledge me. She believed that even if inflammation is not showing in my blood work, that if I say I have had visible swelling I have had it. How refreshing to be believed! I am what is considered to have sero-negative RA which means that the blood labs do not back up my diagnosis. With the exception of the Anti-CCP which she explained is a specific RA predictor. My symptoms, apparent damage and nodules along with a family history of Auto-Immune diseases were more than enough for a diagnosis of active, aggressive RA with the high Anti-CCP.
What has your experience been with your doctors?
© 2011 Rhonda