Doctors and Me….


Welcome to the third day of the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health.   Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based on given prompts provided by WEGO Health.

Today’s prompt reads:

Teaching the Teacher: What’s something you taught your doctor related to your health?

In my experience, this is typically a very hard question to answer, especially in the UK  National Health System.  In the GP Surgery, I attend and the difficulty in getting appointments, it is very challenging therefore to get an appointment with the same doctor.  As a result, you often see a different doctor at each appointment, and therefore it is difficult in this scenario to be able to teach your doctor anything regarding my health.

In addition, even attending hospital appointments with consultants; I have often seen different doctors at each appointment I have attended; especially given that I often been  discharged from specialities, and then had to be referred back to the same specialty when the symptoms have worsened, or new symptoms have been occurring.  Given, that I have been dealing with this revolving door of dealing with different doctors, I feel that in this  situation, I am not abled to teach the doctor’s anything.

Patients are an important aspect of a doctor's education...
Patients are an important aspect of a doctor’s education…

However, really thinking about the above question, aren’t we actually teaching a lot to the doctor’s regarding our health, no matter which doctor we are seeing?   After all, during every appointment, we are teaching the doctor a lot about our health by discussing our symptoms, triggers that may precipitate the symptoms, and so on.  The doctor needs to be taught all of this information to adequately give we the patients a diagnosis, and subsequent treatment plan.   Every piece of information we divulge to doctors, is a small piece of a very large jigsaw, that is our health.  And with each new piece of the jigsaw, the doctor is able to take these pieces and determine where these particular parts fit in the overall picture of the patient’s health, and then as more and more pieces are revealed and pieced together the doctor can provide a diagnosis.

What’s more, everyday patients are educating doctors – think about, every time a doctor sees a patient with a specific health condition, for example, lupus or multiple sclerosis, they learn about the symptoms that can present.  As a result, when doctors see patients that are presenting with a set of symptoms that they have seen previously, then they may have immediate suspicions of what is wrong with the patient, which then could lead to an early diagnosis and treatment.  This may be especially important when dealing with rare conditions, such as mine.

So, even when we think we are not teaching our doctors anything, we are wrong, because we are in fact teaching them a lot – we are not only teaching them about our health, but also giving them information that they can use again when seeing other patients exhibiting similar symptoms to ourselves.  We as patients, it could be said are an important aspect of a doctor’s continuing education!

What are your thoughts?  Have you taught a doctor anything?  As ever would love your comments and thoughts so feel free to press that comment button…

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