Friday, July 8, 2011
Googlechondria and difficult doctors
If you have a new symptom, what should you do? Google it! Self diagnose yourself with mad cow, colon cancer, typhoid, or any other ailment. Then call your doctor, read your print out and tell them why you think you have it.
Are you a hypochondriac? No, you aren't. You have Googlechondria. You google everything and find out you what is really wrong with you. Why do you need a doctor other than to prescribe the appropriate medication to cure you instantly? All you need to do is call them and they will call in a prescription. It is best to call daily to build good relationships with their office staff as well. They will learn to recognize the sound of your voice and get the doctor promptly as you deserve the attention.
If you do this, you are not alone if you read this article. What you really are is giving your doctor a headache. There was an educational video on QuantiaMD which was a doctor to doctor forum on how to deal with difficult patients called 'The Patient Who Knew Too Much'. I tried watching the video and could only get through the beginning and then couldn't log in to watch the rest. Maybe you have to be an MD or something but what I saw was offensive enough.
Yes I realize doctors are dealing with truly sick people as well as the hypochondriacs - which is also a legitimate ailment that may need psychiatric as opposed to medical care - however they should not be stereotyping and labeling us. As a professional patient I could write for hours about difficult doctors - don't get me going about Dr. B again (the egomaniac who diagnosed me with high blood pressure because I couldn't have any secondary causes as it would be too unusual).
I am not a hypochondriac (famous last words). I have learned not to Google things to self diagnose because either they freak me out and I am probably completely wrong. However I see nothing with going online and looking up information on ailments/tests/procedures/medical adventures which I have been told I have. I also see nothing wrong with going into my doctor at my next scheduled appointment and ask about a new treatment for something I have.
I do agree that doctors probably are required to keep up on the latest medical information and protocols, as well as help in coping with difficult patients. Not everyone is nice. They see patients at their worst - a fever or bad diagnosis can turn a normally nice, level headed, sane person into a hysterical, stressed out puddle of tears.
An appointment should be a learning experience on both sides - the patient should learn how to take care of themselves and the doctor should learn about what the patient is really concerned. But as we know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, this doesn't always work. The Googlechondria patient meets the doctor who doesn't listen. The doctor labels the patient as difficult, the patient hates their doctor. A stand off ensues. Both need to check their egos at the door and listen to each other.
My advice to both is patients stop Googling and doctors start listening.