Can you still practice medicine?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by TeNa, Aug 11, 2008.

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  1. TeNa

    TeNa Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Does anyone know if you can practice medicine after you have been diagnosed with MS? If yes, which specialty would be the best in terms of being able to practice for the longest time if the disease progresses quickly.
     
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  3. Random Resident

    Random Resident Random Resident 7+ Year Member

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    I don't see why not. The best specialty would probably be one that could accommodate for the weakness MS produces. So, something like surgery may not be a good idea, while PM&R might be better.
     
  4. pincheeric

    pincheeric 2+ Year Member

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    MS is absolutely NOT going to prevent you from being a physician. There are many physicians with many different kinds of disabilities. Given that extreme physical stress could be an issue I would echo the statement above that surgery might not be a good choice. Beyond that I think you could excel in any other specialty. If you are looking particularly for specialties that have very little physical activity I would recommend pathology and radiology; however, having MS might put you in a unique position as a neurologist.
     
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    At some point it might. I know of a physician who can no longer practice due to the course of his disease. This isn't a static condition.
     
  6. TeNa

    TeNa Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Law2Doc, can you go into more details by any chance?
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It isn't really my story to tell. But if you do a google search of physicians retiring due to MS, you are going to find some.
     
  8. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    One thing I've always wondered. If a medstudent/resident/physician acquired HIV/HepC would they still be able to practice in a clinical setting? Needle sticks scare the beejesus out of me and one reason is the fear that if one of these diseases was acquired you'd not only get a incurable disease but you'd lose your job.
     
  9. UnderdogMD

    UnderdogMD Blow the Whistle!!! 7+ Year Member

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    Ditto. I always get uneasy around HIV patients (the few that I've been around). I know my fear is statistically unfounded but still.
     
  10. Mobius1985

    Mobius1985 7+ Year Member

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    Psychiatry is another possibility.
     
  11. SeekerOfTheTree

    SeekerOfTheTree 7+ Year Member

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    Why is it that we worry more about getting HIV from being around HIV patients but we aren't at unease about meeting a girl at the bar/club and taking her home with us for the night...the stats pretty much play out to be the same for a guy, worse for a girl. I have had the same fear though but I think we gotta get over this stigma first of HIV+ patients so the rest of society treats them with respect and dignity. Just my 2 cents.
     
  12. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    l33thuania
    Well, I'm married so I can't say I've been picking up a lot of random skanks and bringing them home to bone sans raincoat. Hell, I was never doing that.
     
  13. nonesuchgirl

    nonesuchgirl

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    Well, we know HIV patients have it. We're messing with needles. Things happen. Even the best can get stuck.

    Skanks, on the other hand, well, that's what condoms are for. That's what not having random sex with people whose last name you don't know is for.


    (And if you're really worried about the STD status of your sexual partners, I suggest trawling new bars.)
     
  14. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Whoa whoa whoa there, chances of getting hiv from + girl thru unprotected sex is something like 1/2000. From needle stick 1/300. That's order of magnitude.
     
  15. alphaholic06

    alphaholic06 Doctor, Who? Me? 10+ Year Member

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    Somebody's up on their stats from Goljan.
     
  16. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Great response!
    (As we know even board certified E.R physicians can have a needle stick ):thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  17. AZhopeful

    AZhopeful Natural Killer Cell 7+ Year Member

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    As for the MS question, one of the faculty at our school has had it for a while. She is, I believe, in IM, but she's taken a more administrative job w/ less and less clinical work. I think the time may come when she gives up the clinical side entirely, but that is still a ways off.
     
  18. PeepshowJohnny

    PeepshowJohnny 2+ Year Member

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    The chance of HIV transmission from a needle stick is like 3/1000 or something, very low. Hep C is really high though.
     
  19. 187502

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    I know a doc with MS (relapsing/remitting type) that transitioned into psych. and is quite happy.
     
  20. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

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    3/1000 is pretty much 1/300 as I stated. It actually depends a lot on the size of the needle, large vs small bore, the virus titer of the patient, etc... 0.3% may not seem like a lot to you on paper but if you ever get a stick you'll sweat bullets over that 0.3%
     
  21. PeepshowJohnny

    PeepshowJohnny 2+ Year Member

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    My bad, I read that as 3/100 not 1/300. And I agree, even with as rare as healthcare associated HIV transmission is, I stilll would definitely be sweating the bullets with any stick.
     
  22. wasteoftime

    wasteoftime master plan 2+ Year Member

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    And the chance of getting hiv from a low risk partner while wearing a condom are 1/500,000,000. In other words, you are twice as likely to win the powerball lottery.
     
  23. devilpup

    devilpup 10+ Year Member

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    My understanding is that you wouldn't necessary loose your job, but your malpractice insurance would shoot up, WAY high... How safe would it be to have surgeon with HepC operating?
     
  24. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 10+ Year Member

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    Why not do neurology? It isn't that physically demanding and would allow you to relate to your patients in a way most couldn't.
     
  25. LuckyBambooGirl

    LuckyBambooGirl Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    In undergrad, I had a professor who was an MD but never completed residency due to being diagnosed with MS during medical school. She was quite disabled by her disease though and it progressed rapidly. After a few years she was unable to even continue teaching.

    On the other hand, one of my parents friends has MS and has had it for years. He is not a doctor, but he is employed, still quite active and goes fishing and deer hunting. So it all depends on the specific case, but overall a diagnosis of MS shouldn't automatically make you give up your dreams!
     
  26. bcat85

    bcat85 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, i think pretty much anything but surgery would be possible still...
     
  27. GoLakers310

    GoLakers310 2+ Year Member

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    I know that you can't licensed in the US if you get HIV. Another reason not to have unprotected sex!
     
  28. GoLakers310

    GoLakers310 2+ Year Member

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    It depends on a lot of factors such as whether or not the patient is on med and have low viral, etc. I wouldn't risk it with any type of disease, especially HIV.
     
  29. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy 7+ Year Member

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    This is patently false.

    This is what your 8th reincarnation in two months Head in the Clouds? Maybe you wouldn't continue to flunk out if you focused as much attention on your classes as you do trolling the internet.
     
  30. GoLakers310

    GoLakers310 2+ Year Member

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    It has been many told many times not to risk your future in medicine with unprotected sex. Having HIV bans you from getting licensed, and this is no lie. If you don't believe me go read the AAMC website regarding residency, or called the president of AMA and see.
    Also, I have nothing to do with 'Head in the Clouds' dude or whatever. Ask mods if you don't believe me, and they can surely verify that for you.
     
  31. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy 7+ Year Member

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    :rolleyes: States license physicians, not the AAMC or the AMA. Provide a link to your state's licensing board that states being HIV negative is a requisite for licensure. Troll.
     
  32. rhiannon777

    rhiannon777 5+ Year Member

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    Um, yeah, so back the question.

    One of our teaching faculty was diagnosed with MS while he was in medical school. He is a practicing family physician. He's in a wheelchair and has had to come up with some creative techniques for physical exams, but I hear he's a great doctor and his patients love him.

    I agree with those above posters that something with high physical demands like surgery would probably be out of the question, but otherwise you should be able to do whatever you want.
     
  33. WhereDoesItHurt

    WhereDoesItHurt 2+ Year Member

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    Let's throw another loop in, what about HepB? (I know HepC was mentioned but it's different)
     
  34. francisco84

    francisco84 MD2B 7+ Year Member

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    It depends on your particular diagnosis. But the CDC recommendations for HepB (e+ and s+) and HIV are the same. I.e., Go before a board to determine the scope of your practice and likely eliminate all exposure prone invasive procedures and/or informing all your patients of your condition. This means surgery is pretty much out.

    In the case of HepB with e- but s+ the recommendations are less clear. That is to say, there really aren't any. But hospitals being ever weary of litigation will more often than not, not want you to perform exposure prone procedures. This would include things like blind suturing, most things ortho etc. So most surgery would be out.

    In the US there is no regard to viral load when it comes to HepB but in the UK this is a real hot button issue. Also, many countries won't let you near an MD liscence if you are s+

    "Now we know! And knowing is half the battle."
     
  35. WhereDoesItHurt

    WhereDoesItHurt 2+ Year Member

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    Very thorough post francisco! Wasn't expecting that haha. So in the US HepB is limited to non-invasives? Like FM, Radiology, Neurology, etc? Would FM be considered exposure prone for procedures if they included things like endoscopy's or colonoscopy's? I'm just curious because HepB is very prevalent in Asian countries and I would like to one day do some international work so I'm boning up on my knowledge base. Also, I'm a bit lost on the e-, s+. Could you clarify for me? Thanks!
     
  36. francisco84

    francisco84 MD2B 7+ Year Member

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    There are two different antigens that are produced by hepatitis B: the S antigen or Surface antigen and the E antigen. Anyone with S+ is considered a carrier. The E antigen is indicative of a high level of viral activity. There are some mutants/genotypes that are active sans E antigen, but they are not the norm. So someone who is E- and S+ is an "inactive carrier" (a somewhat deceptive term) but that individual tends to be FAR less susceptible to transmitting the disease. For example, some one who is E+ would likely have a viral load in the tens of million to billion range while some one who is E- and S+ would only have a viral load in the tens of thousands or less range. A viral load in the 10,000 range is not typically transmissible sexually and would likely require a transfusion/transplant to transmit. So perhaps that gives you a little idea of how this virus works.

    It is my understanding that "exposure prone" means hacking some one open in such a way that the likely-hood of you (the doctor) getting cut is significantly increased. As I said before, blind suturing is a perfect example. I don't think that scopes would fall under this, but hospitals might take issue on an individual basis.

    FYI, the genotype that is most prevalent in asia is extremely difficult to treat relative to what is found in North America and Western Europe.
     
  37. WhereDoesItHurt

    WhereDoesItHurt 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks Francisco, that was better than class! haha
     
  38. crazydiamond

    crazydiamond Non-trad with 2 kids 2+ Year Member

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    I think it's too variable and individual to say for certain. Some people's MS progresses slowly and with available therapies can do well for quite a long time. Other people, not so much. A friend of mine had to drop out of med school during his 2nd year because his MS (had only been diagnosed less than a year prior) advanced quickly and left him blind. Obviously that doesn't happen to everyone with MS, but it's a possibility. So I guess it just depends on how your body is affected and how rapidly it progresses.
     
  39. Wylde

    Wylde 7+ Year Member

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    Needle pricks are relatively random/uncontrolled, whereas you make the decision to have intercourse with someone at the bar.
     
  40. SeekerOfTheTree

    SeekerOfTheTree 7+ Year Member

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    You guys all make good points. I didn't think about it this way. I am married so I am happy but I have come across a few doctor friends a the bars that chase tail like there is no tomorrow. And it always makes me wonder, are they making the right choices being intoxicated? Kind of like a path we choose when we drink but when we are drunk it is harder for us to control our actions. But again you guys raise good points. Plus PEP treatments after needlesticks nowadays are pretty effective right? In Rhesus monkeys if they got the treatment in 24-36 hours they didn't become infected from a study I read.
     
  41. crazydiamond

    crazydiamond Non-trad with 2 kids 2+ Year Member

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    But, but but! According to Grey's Anatomy, picking up people bars only leads to romance and love, dontcha know? :laugh:
     

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