What to expect from doctors from A Hummingbirds guide

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    (From a hummingbirds guide to M.E.)

    In response to someone who'd commented that Doctors can't be expected to be knowledgeable about every illness]

    I disagree...

    It's not fair for us to blame doctors for their lack of education on the disease that they are treating? I thought that treating diseases was what doctors were supposed to do (in contrast to taking your money whilst simultaneously doing nothing)? And that part of treating a disease was first being educated about it?

    Okay, doctors cannot be expected to be specialists on EVERY imaginable disease, but if you know NOTHING about a disease and are also unwilling to learn ANYTHING about the disease, then don't treat the patient! Don't take their money, don't offer stupid advice, don't deny the existence of the disease.

    I think it is fair to blame uneducated doctors when they refuse to competently treat your disease. I think it is reasonable that you "demand they do more"- especially in light of the fact that they are getting paid for 'treating' you! Who else would you continue to pay for doing nothing?

    I don't think it's fair for doctors to blame US. Too many people with this disease have been told by incompetent doctors that this disease is psychosomatic or that they will get better if they exercise, take antidepressants, ... (insert stupid advice of your choice here) etc. I think it's dangerous to allow complacent, incompetent and ill informed doctors to continue dispensing such advice without any criticism or scrutiny. I think it IS fair to blame doctors for their lack of knowledge and their UNWILLINGNESS to educate themselves on diseases that they are treating.

    If I had a brain tumor, I would want my treating doctor to be educated on the disease and I would want he/she to be WILLING to educate him/herself on the best way to treat me (even if it was only to investigate the best means of alleviating the severity of my symptoms). A doctor who did "nothing" would not be a comfort to me.

    If people had not demanded more, if they had accepted that "doing nothing was okay", so many diseases that are curable and/or treatable today, would not be so. So many atrocities in the world have only been put right because people demanded more.

    We can't refuse to offer drugs that help some people with ME, because of fears that some people "COULD abuse them" (emphasis mine). If we went that far, drugs such as Sudafed would have to be prohibited.

    I would argue that we CAN and in fact, we have to demand more of doctors- it's the only way that we will get the rightful recognition and research that this disease so desperately needs and deserves. I applaud people like Jodi for the advocacy work that they do for M.E. Without them, we would be a lot further behind than we already are.

    I am frustrated by uneducated and complacent doctors who would probably concede that they should not treat brain tumors etc. because they don't have the adequate knowledge to do so, but who strangely enough think it is okay to 'treat' M.E. Too many doctors think that there is no harm done if they dabble in this disease without having any prerequisite knowledge. If you're not an expert and you want to treat an M.E. patient, at least have the courtesy to educate yourself on the disease first- otherwise refer the patient to someone who IS educated on the disease for treatment.

    In my teaching, if a student asks me a question that I don't know the answer to, I am always more than willing to admit that I don't know the answer and to then work with them to seek the answer. You might argue that, "[you] don't think it is fair to blame doctors, (for their lack of education on certain diseases) and we cannot demand they do more. sometimes doing nothing is ok. gosh they could make a big mistake".

    Would it be acceptable for me to tell a student who had submitted an important essay (say for a prestigious competition or a University application) to me for assessment and correction,"oh sorry, I don't know how to punctuate. Punctuation isn't important. Just write your essay without it. Not using punctuation is okay and oh, don't bother trying to use punctuation because you might put a comma in the wrong place".

    I would hope that having gone to University and obtained a degree that made me an expert in a particular profession, that I would not be so ill informed, un-educated and ignorant to my client's plight. If I don't have the background knowledge in a sub-field of my profession, I would hope that I would at least be smart enough to concede that fact and to help steer my client towards someone who could help them. Too many doctors think that is okay not to help us, that it is okay to do "nothing". Just because they think that, it doesn't mean that we have to concur with their complacency and accept their unwillingness to try.

    I would indeed hope that the parent of my hypothetical student would blame me for my unwillingness to educate myself (and for the subsequent set backs that their child had suffered at my expense- just as patients suffer and deteriorate as a consequence of misguided and ill-informed medical advice). I would hope that the parent would take the issue further and "demand more" for their child. In the same way, we should not feel bad about demanding more for ourselves.

    If we want support and someone to JUST listen to us, we can see a counsellor, talk to a friend etc. If we want treatment and medical advice we see a doctor. In the case of my student, I don't think that it would be of adequate consolation to the student and their parent if I refused to help, but was supportive and nice; or if I listened but then still refused to help. I simply would be seen as negligent and not doing my job. Why can't we argue the same of these doctors?

    We all "hope" to get better. But "hope" cannot be a substitute for good medical treatment. All of the hoping in the world wouldn't improve the punctuation of my student's essay and hope alone won't find a cure or new treatments for M.E.- such situations demand that the professional (i.e. the teacher, doctor- whatever the case me be) actually DO SOMETHING.

    I don't think it's unreasonable that we expect more from the doctors who are treating us. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the advice and treatment offered to us is based on sound, reputed and informed medical advice.

    If we don't expect and demand more for this disease then who will?

    Brooke Rodgers
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    want to read? :)
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely right!
  4. abbysmom

    abbysmom New Member

    My thoughts exactly!
  5. karinaxx

    karinaxx New Member

    Jodies website (http://www.ahummingbirdsguide.com/) is the best! huge amount of information and articles!
    good sources and no compromises.
  6. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    I looked at the hummingbird site. I read some of the articles about a comparison between ME and FM.

    One quote said "almost all FM patients can work full time." which isn't true and another that FM patients don't have cognitive problems. Many FM patients including myself have cognitive problems.

    I have had one rheumatologist diagnose me with FM and CFS and another with just FM. There seems to be a lot of confusion in the medical community about CFS and FM. Most support groups also have both which perhaps adds to the confusion.

    confused Marion (Redwillow)
  7. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I haven't seen the quote myself, and hardly go to the hummingbird site. I just found THIS perticular article and thought I share. I hope you found it interesting too!

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