How do you feel about med students at your doctor appointments?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BxGirl, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. BxGirl

    BxGirl New Member

    When I went to my doctor appointment the other day, with my new psychiatrist, there was a medical student in there. The psych doctor asked me if I minded and I said no.

    But todayI realized that I DID feel somewhat uncomfortable with him in the room. There were things I wanted to say to the doctor that I didn't because the med student was there. I just feel funny saying "no" when I'm asked if I mind him being there.

    What do you guys do when your doctor asks if you mind if a med student sits in on your appointment? Now I can kick myself!!!!

  2. JLH

    JLH New Member


    I say this because my middle daughter has been there, done that! She did her medical rotations as a medical student, and has had to do the same thing in a hospital setting as an intern and resident. She is now in her last year of residency, thank God above, and will complete her requirements to become a full-fledged doctor upon passing her Medical Boards (3rd set)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So now you know why I definitely agree!!! LOL

    I have also been to many docs who are training these new med students, too. I do not mind if they come in my exam room, and because of my daughter, I encourage them to come in!

    However, if you are going to a psychiatrist, or say an OB/GYN, and you want to discuss something sensitive with your doc, when I would come to that point, I would simply look at the doc and say "do you mind if the student steps out for the rest of the time because I have something to discuss with you in private" or something like that. The doc won't care and neither will the student.

    We need new doctors in this country. On-the-job training with experienced doctors is one of the best educations a student can receive. That is why I would hate to deny a student that opportunity. In fact, sometimes the student sees me first--asks many questions and does a limited exam, then reports back to the primary doc and gives him the info, then both return in--or sometimes just the primary doc.

    Anyway .... I sincerely hope everyone gives all med students a chance!! They are just learning, but what better way to help educate them about our disease than for us to tell them a ton of stuff when we get them cornered in a little exam room!!! LOL

    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2005]
  3. dakotasweett

    dakotasweett New Member

    Speaking as a nursing student and as a person with fibro, I can understand both perspectives. It is very important for students to have hands-on experience with patients (and I am ever so grateful for the patients I have worked with), however it should totally be the patient's decision whether or not they want a student work with them, especially if the student has shown that they are not competent (I can't believe it took a student a half hour to take a blood pressure...yikes!). I personally have no problems with students coming to most of my appointments...but I don't think I would be comfortable if it was an appointment with a psychiatrist. Please be your own advocate...if you don't want a student...just say so. If the doc isn't understanding of that, maybe you need to find a more empathetic doc.

  4. BxGirl

    BxGirl New Member

    The doctor gave me the choice. I said okay. I didn't really think. He said it didn't bother either of them if I said no. It was just me, trying to be nice. Not only was the doctor seeing me for a "shrink" appointment, he was also seeing me to assess my fibromyalgia and come up with a treatment plan. So the med student learned a lot about fibromyalgia. Next time I'll see him alone and have more chance to talk freely. I just wondered what you guys thought. Thanks!!!!

  5. KelB

    KelB New Member

    For me, it would depend on the doctor. If you could rely on him to be sensible and deal with me (and my CFS) with respect, then I think it'd be a valuable learning experience. With all the nonsense pumped into docs about these being imaginary illnesses, I'd do what I could to help counter that.

    However, if the doc you're seeing is an "unbeliever", then I wouldn't allow a student to be exposed to his attitude, for fear of them inheriting it.

    I probably wouldn't feel comfortable with a student at a first appointment. I'd want to get an idea of the doctor's approach first.
  6. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    My Othropedic Dr., always has a Med, Student during the Summer months, and I look forward to explaining FMS/CMPD to them.
    My Dr. thinks it's good for them to hear about it from a
    person who has to live with this and I try to keep it simple as there isn't that much time, you know?
    ;o] Have a great day,

  7. revlcb

    revlcb New Member

    For the past year, my PCP has had different med. students in his office. For the most part I haven't minded.

    One indicent was to the contrary though. While going through the dx of FM my PCP made light of my ever present list of sx. I know, it was likely redundant and was ever-growing. He made a wisecrack about the list as soon as he came into the examining room. Then he made light of the sx I was presently experiencing...sort of poking fun of if I was a hypochondriac. The situation was just like when as a child, someone would make fun of you to make themselves feel more superior to those around them. I was crying from pain and frustration and told him "don't be an a$$hole" The med. student was taking me seriously, why wasn't the PCP I'd been seeing for the past 20 years?

    I DON'T suggest this type of verbal abuse or disrespect, but it certainly made him take me more seriously. There are still med. students accompanying the PCP on my visits, but, the PCP now treats me more professionally and takes my sx seriously. He no longer holds by his original dx of FM but thinks that I've got MS. He's referred me to a neuro, which I'll see this Thursday. Whatever it is, that I've got, at least my PCP is taking me seriously.

    I encourage med. students attending physicians. How else are they going to get the experience they need to hold their own practice together? There's nothing like hands-on experience.

    The only other time I refused med. students was when I was giving birth and the Dr. asked if the med. students could physically examine me. NOPE! To uncomfortable already.

  8. mejlee

    mejlee New Member

    I love having them along for the ride.

    I have been through so much. I am on disability and now consider my health (and doctor visits) my full time job.

    Most of the students I have met do not know much about FM and they are very curious. They usually ask me a lot of questions. I love to share the challenges we as group encounter. I love to share the info. from the "weird symptom" posts we have here. I live to help them understand that we are all different and not to treat us all the same.

    I have not had a bad experience yet. But after having this dd for so long and the years of fighting for a dx and going to court for ssdi and winning. I will no longer feel any kind shame or embarassment. If they don't want to believe than they can feel free to leave, not me!
  9. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    office. I was in a flare and it was back when we were still getting my meds adjusted and finding out what did and didn't work. The poor girl was sitting there with eyes the size of dinner plates as I cried. I asked her after the visit if she was considering pain control and she said
    "NO! I don't think I could deal with that degree of pain from all my patients." I told her that was a good reason TO go into pain management since so many people need help and there aren't enough doctors who empathize with the pain. I hope she really heard me.
  10. jana15

    jana15 New Member

    Hi ther BxGirl,
    I had always thought that it was very important for our young to be able to get the best possible training in order to become the next crop of doctors. That was until a couple of months ago when I was asked if I minded a young male medical student sitting in on a vaginal coloscopy. I'd had an abnormal pap smear. At first I thought 'sure' but then when it was time for the young male student to take a peek. I felt decidedly uncomfortable.

    I later realised that my sense of discomfort came from the fact this young chap was roughly the same age as my son and so I told him so.

    He then started telling me a bit about his mother and how she'd told him he'd better be on his best behaviour and to remember his manners during his time in the clinic or else she'd ground him (apparently he still lived at home) Well we all burst into fits of laughter and I left feeling not only comfortable but thankful that there was 'Mum' out there sensitative enough to counsel her son on the incredible trust women were placing in him and the future responsibility he was taking on.

    So I for one will continue to allow young students into my consultations so long as they continue to show the respect and sensitative towards me that this young student showed. I believe we deserve it and obviously so did his mum!

    Cheers jana
  11. justjanelle

    justjanelle New Member

    Have only had med. students twice -- one for opthamologist and once for GYN.

    Opthamologist was OK, but the GYN had the med. student do the breast exam part of the checkup. I was really uncomfortable with that, as it turned out the med. student became physically excited doing the exam.

    NOT AT ALL what you want during a medical checkup. I hope that student either obtained some objectivity or found a different specialty.

    Best wisehs,
  12. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    My PCP often has med students. I don't mind as long as my main one does the talking. One visit, I had lowered my cholestrol and was asked how I did it without meds. I explained and included that I was also now using coconut oil for any frying (my DH likes fried chicken). The student told me not to ever use coconut oil's full of cholestrol, he said. I got home, looked at the container...absolutely no cholestrol in coconut oil at all.

    So, I now don't trust any advice a med student offers. It tells me they're only learning how to prescribe rather than attempt to give you better health.
  13. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    I never get told if interns will be at the appointment or not. I had an ENT appointment and ten interns walked in with the doctor. Although I did not have advance notice, I agreed to let them stay.

    On another visit it was an intern who got me on BP medication and an intern who got me on Synthroid.

    They're the up and coming doctors and hopefully we can teach them a thing or two. How the tables turn!
  14. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    One good experience was at the rheumatologist, the intern examined me first and talked with me at great length. She asked me if I had ever taken thyroid and I said yes but my PCP had taken me off of it. She said go back to the endocrinologist.
    Then I was at the PCP who was a mental midget anyway and he wanted the intern to be in there, a guy who seemed to be about 7 ft. tall who loomed in the doorway and made me nervous and I didn't get what I wanted that day which was a refill on some Ultracet that my old PCP had given me. My doctor did all the talking as per usual like he was entertaining the stupid intern.
  15. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    I think this disease takes away a little of our self esteem - okay, a LOT of our self esteem and many of us have trouble saying no.

    I personally don't mind. My baby (almost 17 now) was taken care of in great part in the neonatal intensive care by an intern and many med students looked on. His intern is now an excellent pediatrician that I check on (through the internet). I'm happy to have them learn from me if they can but if at any time, I would feel uncomfortable, I would say no.

    I always say, two heads are better than one.
  16. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I would say no to a student sitting in with a psychiatrist (way too personal) or a gynecologist (same reason). I see a female gynie because that is what makes me most comfortable. The last time I was there for my gynie physical, she walked in with a male med student. No warning, no asking until they were both there - with me in my little paper gown. I was very upset and have made up my mind not to allow that again.

  17. Empower

    Empower New Member

    For a psych doc, no I wouldn't like it

    HOWEVER, I am glad when one is in with my PCP, because he spends more time with me, (I think he is showing off) and we actually have some pretty good discussions (medical) between the 3 of us