Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Kate,

The problem with the medical sites isn't really that they're wrong, it's just that... well, some might call this paternalistic, but I think it's just professionalistic - I think I should tell you what you need to know, what's relevant.  Otherwise, you just scare people.  Now, if they need to be scared, or if I'm concerned, I should speak up, but otherwise, I think that should be considered "doing harm."

You see, those websites include EVERY possible cause of "headache."  And they don't take into account anything other than what you typed in - "headache."  So when a patient comes to me and says, "I know I have a sub-araknid hemmage because I have had a pretty bad throbbing headache for a week," it can be really hard to convince him that he does not in fact have a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage despite the fact that I went to school and learned about the signs and symptoms and they don't match at all.

Information misinterpreted and misused.  Now that's dangerous.


Love,
Bora.

2 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure the patient you just described is my husband. Are you sure you haven't seen Derek in your clinic at any point?

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  2. how about 'i think i got one of them biblical hernias- and maybe a linguinie kind too".... oh you mean umbilicus and inguinal? yeahhhhh. i hate webmd in the hands of uneducated/uninformed people. they have no idea what they are reading and you are soooo correct. they come in saying things like im having a stroke bc i have tingling in my finger. when clearly. they are NOT having a stroke.

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