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Diagnose this!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BlameItOnTheNurse, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. Hi folk,
    Been a while since i posted anything so here it is...

    Everytime I visit my family, they ask me medical questions pertaining to their health and want me to diagnose their illnesses or the next door neighbors illness or aches and pains,etc. It happens w/ friends too.
    How and the hell and I suppose to know all that information already?
    Dont they realize that I am just a pre-med?
    Does this happen to anyone else?
    I actually try to explain with what limited knowledge i do know(I pull out my books and try to figure out what muscle is strained or what ligament...the funny thing is that i have tried to diagnose my own injuries( after playing rugby for 2 yrs, i have had plenty of those)

    I guess when we do become docs that people will be coming up to us and expecting a free diagnosis on the street. This leads to the next set of questions, i guess.
    How do you guys feel about giving out free diagnosis while on your time off. I knew a doc who would go almost in a disguise when he went grocery shopping just so he did not have to deal w/ patients outside of the office. Seems kind of unsocial, but dont we need our time away from our patients? my worries are not about getting the doctors visit fee, but the interruption of my daily life. I want to help people when ever I can, but where do you draw the line? Do you think we should ever draw a line, or is that one of the sacrifices we must accept as physicians???
    BIOTN

    "Black holes are where God divided by zero."
     
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  3. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    I thought about that the other day, especially with family members seeking a medical exam during Christmas dinner.

    Personally I wouldn't mind offering "free" medical advice or knowledge, I would briefly tell them what may be wrong and follow it up with advice to see a doctor who'll be better suited with tests and equipment in a clinic or hospital.
     
  4. PelicanMan

    PelicanMan Senior Member

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    dude I want that stuff to happen to me.

    I would love stangers to be like hey what the hell is wrong with me.

    Therefore I don't draw a line
     
  5. Future_Doc

    Future_Doc Senior Member

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    Here's one - every time a health related issue comes up, people look at me as if I have the answers. When I say I have no idea, I get the same response: "Well - YOU'RE the doctor!"

    Or - my boss here at a Hospital . . . everytime she get's really ticked at one of the docs she says stuff like "and you want to be a doctor!" :mad:
     
  6. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    Funny thing... My aunt, who's a nurse, likes to be that person. She loves to diagnose things and give medical advice, etc. For example, she sells my parents all these vitamins and mineral pills and she writes on the bottle little "prescriptions" so my parents can understand when to take them, etc., even though the instructions are stated right on the bottle. For instance she wrote on some vitamin C bottle "take three times daily for flu, cold, stress..." Anyway, when she heard I was going into medicine she immediately became very hostile to me. Like she questioned my motives, advised me not to, etc. One time, she even asked my dad if I was going to a "real medical school" and not chiropractic school. Anyway, I think she realizes that once I become a doctor, she won't be the one people go to for medical advice. So there are some people who actually like being the doctor in social situations.
     
  7. Future_Doc

    Future_Doc Senior Member

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    There are worse careers I guess as far as dealing with this sort of thing. I'm actually a CPA, but I don't do a whole lot of tax work. As you all can imagine, though, this time of year I have brothers, friends, co-workers, you name it - asking for tax advice. The best time was when my brother called me a couple of years ago the night of April 14th and asked me a tax question. I gave him an answer that I knew to be correct and he immediately told me that I was wrong! :mad: Why bother and call me then? Geez! I can't wait until I'm a doc and he calls to ask me if he has appendicitis!
     
  8. Darwin

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    Actually, I think I will enjoy constantly trying to diagnose people...who knows, it might get tiresome though. The problem is diagnosing ourselves. We read so much information, and especially (myself) as a graduate student, that every time a slight problem comes up I'm immediately thinking...Oh crap, this is a symptom of X...or a sympton of Y...then I start worrying...then I read more and worry more. Then I go to the doctor's and realize I've got a lot to learn. :D
     
  9. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver

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    It's funny, people have always come to me for medical advice. I suppose this is because my dad's a doc, so they know if I don't know the answer I'll ask him. I've been diagnosing/medicating my friends for years! :rolleyes: I think my dad just tolerates my "doctoring" half the time. The one thing he does concede to me on is women's health. Since he's an internist and usually sees older patients, pregnancy/OCs/gyn problems are not his area of expertise. We've had several lively discussions on what OCs to put my sister on.
    I've seen people approach my dad unnumerable times for medical advice. He's always very cool about it. Most people just want to be listened to anyway. It also surprises me that my friends would rather tell me about their bloody stool than a doc...but oh well.
    I love to give medical advice. I always ask for backup from my dad...but it's a great feeling to help out people you care about!
     
  10. missMD

    missMD Member

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    Hey, me too. My parents, friends, and family friends act like I should already know everything about every ailment they can come up with.
    And at the hospital I work at, my co-workers are always saying "When you become a doctor don't be like Dr. So-and-so."
    When I become a doctor I guess I'd give advice and help as my time and conscience allows.

    thats m .02
     
  11. racerx

    racerx ASA Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by moo:
    <strong>Funny thing... My aunt, who's a nurse, likes to be that person. She loves to diagnose things and give medical advice, etc. For example, she sells my parents all these vitamins and mineral pills and she writes on the bottle little "prescriptions" so my parents can understand when to take them, etc., even though the instructions are stated right on the bottle. For instance she wrote on some vitamin C bottle "take three times daily for flu, cold, stress..." Anyway, when she heard I was going into medicine she immediately became very hostile to me. Like she questioned my motives, advised me not to, etc. One time, she even asked my dad if I was going to a "real medical school" and not chiropractic school. Anyway, I think she realizes that once I become a doctor, she won't be the one people go to for medical advice. So there are some people who actually like being the doctor in social situations.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Uh, oh...looks like a family turf war is about to start. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  12. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member

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    This thread reminded me of one instance last summer...I'm an athletic trainer. I have limited medical education through my master's but am the most educated and only medical person in my family. Last year, I was sitting on our patio and my aunt calls. She says, "Brock (her son) put Nerds (the candy) up his nose!!!!" First of all, she's in Seattle. Second of all, WHAT THE HECK DOES AN ATC KNOW ABOUT NERDS UP A KID'S NOSE!?! It still makes me chuckle.

    As for the topic - I don't/won't mind people asking, but usually do the "you should go see your doctor" bit.
     
  13. NE_Cornhusker1

    NE_Cornhusker1 12" Member

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    Personally I would tend to stay away from the "at the supermarket" diagnosis for fear that the person may consider a 2 minute converstation a satisfactory alternative to making an appointment with a physician and proper diagnosis.

    If you tell them (on limited information) that is probably this or that and later go onto die no matter how well-intentioned you might be you could get the crap sued out of you. That's Bad.

    In that situation I would suggest they see physician right quick and get a proper diagnosis and tell them as much as I can under good-samiritan laws. I plan to go into surgery anyway so I don't think I will encounter this as much.
     
  14. Hallm_7

    Hallm_7 Senior Member

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    You may say that you won't get tired of it now, but wait until you're an actual doctor. Family and friends asking is one thing, but when people you don't know start asking that's another matter. That's why most docs' phone numbers are unlisted. Imagine trying to watch your kid play soccer or open their presents during a b-day party and people coming up to you or calling you asking you what's wrong with them.

    It's not that they don't care, it's just that docs need to have some off-time too.
     
  15. Thanks for the input so far. Cool story about the nerds.

    Cornhusker, i never thought about the liability of giving out advice. Interesting point.
     
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  17. SUNYboy

    SUNYboy Member

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    Anytime somebody asks me to try to diagnose them, all I say is, "O.K., get undressed!!"

    That shuts them up quickly!!
     
  18. UMgrad

    UMgrad Member

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    This one is really bad....I keep thinking about it, not because it is ridiculous, but because it shows the deplorable conditions in my neighborhood. My neighbor comes with his father which is in his sixties with a bloody towel wrapped around his hand and a bag with ice. Apparently he cut the first section of his finger off. He brings the piece in the bag and asks me if i can sew it back on. I said I can't. I didn't want them to feel bad because they were coming to me, so I couldn't tell them how crazy this was. They asked me if it was bad, I said yeah. The problem was that he did not have insurance. SO my excuse was that I did not have septic needle and thread and that I just woulnd't know what to do. I tell him to run to the hospital and forget about the money, especially when his dad is diabetic. He goes home and comes back with regular needle and thread, begging me to do what I could, that he did not care if it came out bad. Finally I convince him to take his father to the hospital, who ends up staying there for over a week due to complications of waiting so long. Well that is my story- pretty sad huh?
     
  19. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i was in the ER and the doc asked me to look at an xray to diagnose what's happening.

    i didn't see the fracture in the hip.
     

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