Hey, AC77, what IS being taught in med school about CFS????

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Jen F, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    i'VE Been curious about this for a while...

    What did they say in your school?

    There are still so many doctors around here that think it's a psychological illness, or who know very little, and/or don't realize how seriously debilitating can be. Makes me wonder if schools spend more than 5 minutes on it, and what is said!

    I'm hoping more is being mentioned in med schools now.

    Thanks for your time!

    Jen F
  2. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member


    I would like to know the answer to this one

    Thanks Jen

    NutsInAlabama[This Message was Edited on 06/18/2003]
  3. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    So, what are you saying? Is chronic fatigue taken
    more seriously than FMS? You said they send
    those with FMS to shrinks (can't spell the right word)!
    So which do you think is taken more seriously?
    I always thought Epstein Barr meant Chronic
    Fatigue, but I am guessing that is not the case
    anymore. I wish drs could be better about everything.

    BTW, do you know Dr. Steven Phillips in Ridgefield?
    Any comments? You can email privately if you prefer.

    Where are you completing your residency?

  4. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I am appalled.

    Your information brings me to tears.

    No wonder so many MD's I've seen either state clearly that they think it's a psychological illness or at least give that impress impression and don't take the disabling fatigue seriously.

    No wonder I so rarely get respect.

    No wonder some doctors who do care know so little about it.

    How many times have we heard: "Who diagnosed you with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?" said in a way that makes us feel like they want to report that doctor.

    Thanks for taking the time to let us know, AC.

    Please anyone who has the energy and credibility contact the med schools or medical associations or have their doctor send a letter, or....SOMETHING...

    Let us pray that something will happen to motivate the schools to cover the topic properly.

    In great sadness and frustration,

    Jen F
  5. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    Thank you so much. I am also astonished at what I am in for.

    So far it has been easy for me to get treated for my symptoms without the DX but just having found out that my new rheumy thinks this is what I have makes me even more angry and anxious than I already am.

    PTSD they can treat
    Panic Attacks and Anxiety they can treat
    Insomnia is somewhat treatable 1/4 of the time I get more than 3 straight hours and a couple times a month, a whole 5 hours
    The pain can be at least helped somewhat and controlled to an effective level at least for now.
    I somehow wish the test would come back positive for bone cancer or degenerative bone or joint disease.
    At least I would not think I was totally nuts.

  6. sujay

    sujay New Member

    Jen F,

    I'm afraid there hasn't been much progress since I was at Georgetown more than 20 years ago. I'm afraid we got somewhat distracted by HIV/AIDS. It's true that doctors are uncomfortable with diseases they don't understand and can't treat. Who wouldn't be? It's important to remember that it's even tougher to be the patient with such a disease.

    Don't give up hope, though. You must know (if you've paid attention to ANY of my other posts) that I think hypercoagulation holds the key for many of the fatiguing illnesses. Lots of other doctors are doing important research on these illnesses from other angles. For the clinician the problem is putting the information available in ways that benefit a particular patient. (That's the ART of medicine, and I hope they're still teaching THAT in medical school.)

    Just as an aside, when I was in medical school it was not uncommon to be wakened more than once during a 6-week surgical rotation to be awakened to help the surgeon on call to deal with a bleeding ulcer. We just went in and cut the bloody thing out. Then Tagamet came along, and all of a sudden we were sleeping through the night more often. At just about the same time we learned that for people who smoked, STOPPING SMOKING WORKED JUST AS WELL as Tagamet to prevent bleeding ulcers. (Guess how much attention that got?) And at the same time that doctor down in Australia was pushing a BACTERIA as the cause of ulcers, and guess how they're usually treated now? (after a lag time of more than a decade.)

    Doctors do come around, but they have to be convinced there's a real connection between cause and effect, and that patients will cooperate with the recommended treatment plan. We should actually be grateful they don't jump on every bandwagon that comes along, but I admit it is hard for those of us who worry we're just going to be left in the dust.

    That having been said, I am more disturbed by the apparent lack of compassion shown to people who are in pain. Granted we don't want to contribute to addiction, but pain meds can be used to allow people to FUNCTION. Most doctors understand this, so perhaps it would help to focus more on how much your pain contributes to inability to function than on how much suffering it may cause. For those of you who are still suffering, may you find a healer who is compassionate to appreciate and respond to your suffering and humble enough (and hopeful enough) to realize he still might have something to learn.

    Good luck to you all,
  7. tandy

    tandy New Member

    No wonder more than half of the Drs. out there think its all in our heads! I'll never forget when my primary dr. referred me to a Rhuematologist to DX me for all my symptoms of FM.When my Rheumy sent a report to my primary noting his DX of fibromyalgia......My primary dr. told me that he believes FM is simply untreated restless legs syndrome!!! Can you stand it!! lmao.......not because its funny,I just have no idea how he came to that conclusion!! what drugs is HE on??!
    Go teach em a thing or two AC!!
  8. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    You responded:

    "M.D.s tend to be arrogant. It's a very elite type of club--that is M.D.s. so it makes for a bad patient, doctor relationship, when your M.D. looks down on you as not a person but someone with issues. "

    I think that is very true. And I think some take a special dislike to me because I dont' treat doctors like Gods. I was going to be in the health professionmyself with 7 years of schooling [only completed 4] and i know doctors are just people too. They make mistakes, they have their moods, and they certainly have their opinions.

    If only my doctor could see me healthy and enjoying life. But, he sees me when I am not well and I'm tired and I have a lot of problems, financial and otherwise.

    I really do feel that I am not respected and that I am looked down upon.

    I don't worship doctors because of their titles, but give me a smart doctor who really cares about helping people, goes out of his/her way, and is not in the profession for money/prestige and I will be a lifelong fan.

    The attitude of many dr's towards this disease needs to be changed, and I think the med schools are a very good place to start!!!

    Boy, how it's needed...
  9. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    WE PAY THEM!!!!!
    Yes ,

    Whether it be through own deep pockets of which i certainly do not have but Dr's think I do

    Through Medicare they look at me a bit differently now because I am "officially disabled" yes a bit better

    Through private insurance, we can usually get more of the help we want and need because they can bill, bill, bill

    Through Medicaid, which I was on short term and I was made to feel like a moocher

    We pay them and and they need to be reminded of this from time to time. I get to this point after a long wait in the wasting room (yes I meant wasting) and have 10 min with a very uncaring, unsympathetic, impatient God Complex individual, and the best place to tell them I feel that way and that they work for me is in the wasting room.

    Though this is not a normal reaction for me and never has been the way I like to present myself, Sometimes frustration lends itself to an attitude I am not proud of but it feels great to say what I am feeling toward them.

    Doctors need to realize this. THEY are not the almighty. They do not always KNOW, how can they they have so... much to keep up with and so... many complaints day after day.

    But MY complaints are real and my FEELINGS are real.

    I have enough to worry about and be stressed over.

    I will carry aa new sense of awareness when I see the new rheumy for a 2nd time, who just ran a zillion tests and be wary of his response and demeanor when I re-visit him.

    Sorry for the anger

  10. dobrydy

    dobrydy New Member

    What do they teach in med school about CFS? I work at the Med School and my little boy has CFS. As a colleague, I can have some exrta attention, right? Once, when my son just got sick, the head of the pediatrics infectious disease dept. used my son to illustrate to his student that my son is faking it. He told to a very tired, very sick little kid that he is going to going to be admitted to the hospital where they are going to put a needle in his spine (meant; spinal tap). My son started yelling, crying and with all his strenght jumped down the table and darted away. And this pompous moron proclaimed that the boy was suffereing from "schoolfobia".
    Others, who I know personally from work, are no better. They only being taught to summon a psychiatrist to you, and after that they have no other ideas. They do not even allow a thought in their minds that CFS may be a real illness, not a psychiatric case. Younger doctors are usually more open-minded (not without an exeption, though). They still read literature and use Medline. Older physicians are usually a disaster (again, not without exeption). So what do they teach in med school? Absolutely nothing that can help you. During their residence years, if they come across the patient with CFS, their attending (supervising) physician shows them how to dismiss the whole thing and get rid of a crasy psycho who is wasting their time.
  11. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Here we have a profession where the average doctor lives a full TEN YEARS less than the average life expectancy, one where the way the profession is practiced is tailor-made to cause them to get adrenal fatigue themselves, and yet they don't belive that adrenal fatigue exists anymore, (they used to, which may surprise some of you). No drug company reps have told them about it lately and there is no money to be made from a problem that is treatable with unpatentable medicines and supplements. Not to mention, how would you code it, since the code for adrenal failure is used only for Addison's Disease. These days if it can't be coded, it won't be diagnosed.( BTW, I believe adrenal fatigue and FMS/CFS are synonomous.) I do not think it will get better, as our society is valuing and choosing hardness, speed, insensitivity, and a go, go, go attitude more and more with each generation. Those of us who have weaker adrenals and can't keep up with this craziness, and who get sick from trying, will be left behind and left out. Sorry, but that's my opinion...it's a type of un-natural selection...evolution still goes on, only now man is making it happen with his choices.
  12. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    The doc I saw today seems like a really nice person and he's got a very friendly attitude...but I do see the unhelpful to us med school training...

    1) I had an unpleasant experience with the demerol last night. Among other bad symptoms, I had difficulty swallowing so, got a little concerned. I called a pharmacist and felt somewhat reassured that i was taking an antihistamine.

    I haven't found the generic flexeril very helpful

    and the Vioxx made me sick...

    so doc mentions a negative placebo affect. He says "you don't like to take drugs, right?" I said, yes I try to avoid unless I really need them, I prefer natural alternatives. So, he's trying to say that it's possible that I had bad side effects/reacted to the demerol and either the codeine or celebrex because of a physchological phenomen given that I don't like taking drugs.

    I DON'T THINK SO....

    I like my restoril. I just wish my body wasn't dependent on it for sleep. And had the demerol worked as I thought it would, i would have been very happy to have it. Demerol would have become my new best freind.

    2) I was in a lot of pain when I left doctors office yesterday and was trying to get a cab for over 5 minutes. I just needed to get home asap and to get help carrying my bags up one flight of stairs. I had groceries and my arms and neck were killing me,

    Dr says today: "Well, you seemed to be doing pretty well yesterday - i saw you hailing a cab pretty well"

    Of course I've got all sorts of GOOD comebacks NOW.....

    3)He kept talking about all the drugs I've tried these last few weeks and made reference to the "chemical soup". He must have mentioned at least 4 times that it was not good to be on so much stuff. Well, no sh$t sherlock. I wouldn't have to keep trying if I found something i didn't react to or found something that was strong enough or the right med for me for pain. Does he think I like to be on a new drug every week???

    So, he was a nice guy, but obviously doesn't get the full picture of what my needs are.

    I'm afraid he might think I am attention seeking and not take my severe pain seriously enough.

    Hopefully next time I will stand up for myself better while maintaining a good rapport with the md.

    I like what you wrote AC:

    "A GOOD sign of a doctor is one who ASKS, "how do you think this disease/syndrome should be treated?" and is willing to abide by REASONABLE requests for meds, tests and procedures and a MUTUAL informed discretion of both the DR and Patient. "

    YOu go, AC!