Doctors aren't infallible

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Tim
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Doctors aren't infallible

Post by Tim » December 27th, 2007, 9:04 pm

Being a germo I have slightly more than a passing interest in medicine. Having been misdiagnosed by doctors on several occasions I came to realise that doctors, while having the bar set quite high, are just like any other group of professionals - there are plenty of great ones, but there are also a vast number of pretty shite ones.

Yet, even though I research through a variety of sources, including the best-known medical research resource, Pub Med, I am constantly told by family and friends "you're not a doctor, so how could you know better?" So do amateurs get totally discounted? Is it impossible to be a good cook if you're not a professional chef? Can people not be handymen around their house without doing so for money? It's quite a bizarre mentality when you think about it, but I suppose given the complexity of medicine, and the utter dross people believe (such as the fantastic fallacy that just won't die that being cold will give you a cold) it's actually a reasonable prejudice.

So without further ado I give you this great article - "Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe" - http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/2 ... elieve/?hp. 1 and 2 are the best... (you need 8 glasses of water every day - hah! and we only use 10% of our brains). In fact I feel this article missed the opportunity to champion the need for second opinions, or what I feel to be the best piece of advice - first espoused by Dr Karl from JJJ - get a family doctor and stick with them! Isolated symptoms tell you so much less than long-term monitoring and evaluation. I have also begun to appreciate the Australian approach to medicine (when appropriate), which is the "wait and see", rather than jump in with the latest drugs and antibiotics. While speedy medical response is a must when required, it can't be denied that in the vast majority of cases that the problem will resolve on its own (gotta love the immune system) or provide further insight to treatment.

Wow, now I'm getting a bit preachy. Still, better than telling the 4BG readers to use The Secret to solve their medical issues I suppose.

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corporationsix
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Post by corporationsix » December 29th, 2007, 8:12 am

That '7 Myths' health article has been popping up on many websites since it was published in the Brisitsh Medical Journal on December 21st for their traditional 'light-hearted' Christmas edition, and that's the first time I've seen the facts attributed as current belief of doctors. "Myths Even Doctors Believe'? What a bullshit title. The other version of the articles I've read just list them as Myth Busters style wives' tales.

And my experience with Japanese doctors is that they are also very 'wait and see' wth giving out antibiotics. It's even a bit of a hassle to convince my docotr to increase my asthma medication, even when he's aware of seasonal factors that severely affect asthma.

Tim
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Post by Tim » December 29th, 2007, 9:28 am

Fair enough corp6, I guess the problem is I've had doctors tell me some pretty whacko stuff. I guess the broader problem is also the need for doctor re-education, as discussed on Scrubs :D

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