Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Today's Doctors"

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


  1. Ahhh, my experience with doctors. Well so much so, I went ahead and wrote a but true! Welcome to the blogging community. It is great to see you here and I look forward to reading more of your personal experiences and sharing this journey together. I am currently in search of an ra doctor here in my "new" town (been here for about two years). I did see one but not too impressed...same old, same old. I personally have alot of med issues but until I have rashes from head to toe, swollen lips etc., the docs don't seem to believe me. And yes, it is noted in my medical records but so many do not even bother to look at the records. I keep on trying to keep on but it would be nice to have a compassionate, understanding doctor that would be willing to work with me some on my ra without threatening me with gloom and doom all the time. I hope your doc keeps on with you for many, many years. This breed is rare!

  2. Deb, Thanks for the warm welcome to the blogging community. I am finding it is a good place to express myself without worry that my friends and family will carry the burden of some of the knowledge if that makes any sense!

    You are so not alone with your Doctor issues. It really amazes and scares me the number of Dr's who do not trust or believe in their patients. I hope that you find a wonderful, compassionate Dr. who knows their stuff and treats you with the respect that you deserve. Keep going till you find one, they are out there!

    I will keep mine as long as he will have me. He has talked about keeping my family (3/4 of my immediate family have auto-immune) on even when he retires...I can only hope I will be that lucky. He has been with me since the day I was born!

    Thanks again for dropping by!