Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Using Your Head

I haven't practiced medicine for about a decade and a half (that's 15 years for those of you who are numbers-challenged), yet I continue to read the journals and maintain my CME. I don't do this because I plan to go back to work as a physician (although that avenue is always open, I guess), but rather I do it to keep my mind sharp. I enjoy using my head.

I may not know about every bit of the new technology, but I can still do what Sir William Osler said: "Listen to the patient. He's telling you the diagnosis." We have some wonderful tests (and I marvel as each new one is unveiled), but a great deal of any diagnosis depends on an accurate history.

I was reminded of this when I had my own annual physical recently. The doctor asked all the right questions, but I had to think to make sure my answers were truthful, not just pro forma. For my age, I seem to be doing fine, but she knew this before she ever laid a stethoscope on me. Because she listened to what I was saying.

Conversely, if a doctor--or mechanic or CPA plumber or anyone else--gets inaccurate information, their conclusion and subsequent actions are going to be skewed in the wrong direction. When your car is going chug-a, chug-a, chug-a, you don't tell the mechanic what's wrong or what to do. You describe the symptoms as accurately as possible, and depend on the professional to make a diagnosis.

And notice, I said "professional." I wouldn't take my car to a plumber for help with a problem, nor do I think it's appropriate to ask medical questions on Facebook. But that's a sermon for another day.

Tweet with a single click. "Inaccurate information may result in an erroneous diagnosis."

Note: My novel, Cardiac Event, will be released by Amazon in ten days. Until then, the Kindle version is available for a pre-publication price of $2.99--that's 60% of the regular price for the e-book.

3 comments:

Paula said...

I think that translates to Spiritual things also! We have the counsel of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible. So we shouldn't go searching for false doctrines. Get the right diagnosis from the right symptoms! We are sinners! Christ is the Answer! Blessings to you and Kay!

Patricia Bradley said...

Oh my goodness! Don't tell me someone has asked you a medical question on Facebook! That's right up there with being at a party and someone cornering you, wanting you to tell them what's wrong with them!

And I've preordered Cardiac Event!

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I've been asked medical questions re a WIP by writers--thank goodness I haven't been asked for medical advice by someone who is a patient. But it frustrates me to see people going on FB and asking for medical advice, based on what others have experienced. It doesn't work that way.
Congratulations on the newspaper article, by the way.