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online diagnosis vs direction

BEVERLY STANLEY bestanly at ix.netcom.com
Tue Apr 11 11:37:57 EST 1995

In <maga-060495102631 at> maga at vetbio.unizh.ch (Giovanni 
Maga) writes: 

>In article <3lvcu9$101 at ixnews2.ix.netcom.com>, bestanly at ix.netcom.com
>>     Telling what you know that could help a person does not have to 
be a 
>> diagnosis. Anyone that had been sick for a long time has had many 
>> diagnoses.
> Dealing with 
>> doctors at this time was the most frustrating thing I've ever had to 
>> There is no room for complacency in the present day healthcare 
>> Squeaky door gets the oil.<g> So, please, have compassion for the 
>> patients and help to direct them, not diagnose them. Bev
>Dear Beverly, I want just to share my feelings about that with you.
>1) I understand that people could be so frustrated to ask for help on 
>Net, but it has to be noted that not only a diagnosis but also a hint 
>*very* difficult to be given without facing the patient, asking him and
>knowing his history (at least a serious MD should agree with that).
>Moreover, sometimes people without a specific knowledge his tempted to
>answer (just to be kind of course), but a wrong answer to a person who
>knows less could be misleading. I tell you, even if I try to give 
>only when I'm reasonably sure, I did mistakes. That's the reason why I 
>not to mess up things answering when I'm not sure.
>2) It is true that knowing a bit more is better than not. But we cannot
>think to become experts in every field. We have always to rely on 
>else knowledge, however frustrating it might prove to be. So, most of 
>pieces of informations without a basic knowledge can be even worse than 
>infomations at all. Tell me, even if you are given the hint that your 
>could be xyz, how can you face a doctor saying it's not so because yxz?
>Wouldn't you trust him? 
>3) I do encourage people to ask for infos on the Net, but not to think 
>a free forum for discussions online (even if scientific) could 
>for the personal contact between patients and doctors. BTW, if you
>carefully read all the postings you will notice that really every kind 
>people is now partecipating in discussions and sometimes they are not
>thinking that what they're writing could influence someone's else 
>in a wrong direction. So, take the suggestions but with care.
>Best wishes, G.Maga PhD
>maga at vetbio.unizh.ch

Dear Dr. Maga: I agree with you in many respects, but if you go to one 
doctor after another and are misdiagnosed many times over, what can you 
do then? God helps those who help themselves, it is said. I just cannot 
sit idly waiting for the right doctor without having some foundation of 
knowledge to work from. Books are not current enough. Journals are 
expensive, and take too much time to sift through. So, in the case of 
the stones in the bile duct (minus a gallbladder), I went to a medical 
database, put in the symptoms, read several journal articles that 
matched, and came up with the idea that I had sludge surrounding the 
stones such that they could not be seen via x-ray or sonagram (it's 
reflected), and I turned out to be absolutely right...except I had three 
stones rather than one. How did I know what to use for key words? I 
asked questions. I discerned which studies pertained to my case. I could 
have been wrong and then proceded to go to the wrong specialist, wasting 
more time and risking damage to the liver. I needed people to help 
direct me so that I could make an informed decision. 
    I used to look up to doctors as some sort of god. I can even 
remember having such reverence for them that I nearly said, "Bless me 
Father" as a child,confused about whom I was talking to.<grin> I'm sure 
there are some great doctors out there, some who are dedicated to 
finding relief for suffering, answers to their patients' questions, 
consolation for their fears. Not that all the male doctors were cold and 
insensitive,( my present doctor is a male and is very compassionate,) 
but, the women were the best listeners, the warmest and most caring of 
all the doctors I was given to see. And I am not a member of NOW or 
anything.<grin> Bedside manner means so much to a patient who is forced 
to trust in the doctor's ability to heal.Being included in finding a 
cure relieves that feeling of helplessness, and gives a sense of 
direction. Patients may not be doctors, but they should be treated as 
intelligent persons, not the gallbladder in bed 2. I can tell by your 
note that you are kind and compassionate. Keep up the good work. Love, 

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