Sep 02, 2010
I had a great visit with a new specialist today who was not at all intimidated by the fact that I knew what my test results said even when she missed a diagnosis that was burried in a paragraph. She was also not intimidated by the fact that I had printed an article I had found online to share with her and my other specialist.
Patients need to be educated on what they are experiencing. They not only have the right to obtain and read test results, but they SHOULD educate themselves and know what the say. If they don't understand something, then it is up to the doctor to interpret the results for them. In my case there was an obscure mention of a diagnosis that I caught in my reading of a report that the dr, not bieng the ordering dr and scanning multiple reports in a short amount of time, missed. My knowing what the reports said allowed us to discuss the diagnosis and what it means to me.
Also, reading every resource on line that I can find provided me with an oportunity to learn about a rare form of my disease that can be caused by a certain type of repeated infection which I have experienced. Knowing my history, I printed the article and showed it to the dr. This was a new dr and therefore did not have records showing my 14+ year history with that infection. My primary specialist only has two and half years of my medical history and therefore would easily miss that pattern. While I have seen my GP for almost 25 years and he has diagnosed the infection multiple times, they have converted to electronic records and only have data going back about 4 years. In reality, no one has documentation of my medical history readily at hand. My GP could request hard copies to be brought out of storage, but that would be a pain. It was up to me to remember and bring that information to the discussion.
This is written to encourage you to educate yourself on your condition, obtain and read your test results (you paid for the tests after all so they belong to you), and research as much as you can. You never know what piece of your puzzle you may find and bring to your dr for discussion. If your dr isn't comfortable with that, then they are too arogant to be your dr and find a new one.
Together we developed a new treatment plan with plans B and C from the information I provided the dr.
Take care and happy reading everyone.