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Old 01-13-2006, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Medical Profession

What are your thoughts about going to and getting advice from a doctor?

I am heard some horror stories and some stats seem to show they may actually harm more than they help.

Personally I look at them like auto mechanics that don't have a manual and won't listen to the owner.

Last edited by Tachion; 01-13-2006 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Doctors are extensively educated before they obtain their degrees or licensure so they are usually fairly opinionated in matters of the body. Many times, they probably feelthey have 'seen' a similar symptom that you are already experiencing and they may diagnose according to such--

Best advice is to find a doctor your comfortable with, one who will listen thoroughly before assuming that you have a certain condition, and generally, most of them are willing to listen...
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I expect a lot from them. I am intelligent and expect to be treated as such; yet, I also expect to have the situation explained thoroughly. If they're not willing to take that time, or give me bullshit answers, I don't have to go to them anymore. It's just that simple.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Using your analogy

Personally I look at them like mechanical engineers with their PhD's in Automotive engineering. They know more about the human body than you or I will ever know. Do they know everything? No. Are they wicked smart? Yes. Do you want them to change your oil? No. Do you want their input when something major goes wrong with the car? Absolutely.

That said, there are people who wear their asses as hats on a continuous basis (me included). Don't paint the lot with the same brush. Making assumptions and generalizations about any group (doctors, military personnel, politicians) will only make you a bitter, misinformed person.

Is there an experience in your medical history that you would like to share?
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlynnm
Doctors are extensively educated before they obtain their degrees or licensure s
But only in very limited areas.

eg: When it come to drugs they largely rely on drug company information and their own 'testing'.

They also are given limited, if not biased, info about natural health remedies.

We have a doctor (orthopedic surgeon) who is known by the staff to be incompetant. However they cannot touch him as the profession protects him. A few years ago a girl died of a broken leg because of his abilities. He is still working. There have been articles written about his trail of destruction but still he is there.

Here are some stats. OK a little dramatic use but I think it is interesting.

Number of physicians in the US: 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000.
Accidental deaths per physician: 0.171
(U.S. Dept.of Health & Human Services)

Number of gun owners in the US: 80,000,000.
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups): 1,500.
Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188


OK guns have no benefit but maybe doctors benefits are not what we think.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachion
...maybe doctors benefits are not what we think.
First off, you could list similar statistics for water related deaths (drowning, etc.) Does that mean that less people would die if there was no water? More relevently, this would be more informative if you included lives saved because of doctors. As it is, you are looking only at one side of the equation and ignoring the entire purpose of the profession.

You might also include the numbers of people who die or experience severe impairment because they were being treated by holistic methods or otherwise didn't see a doctor. I'm not saying this means holistic healers are bad - just that the way you are asking the question implies an expected response.
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Last edited by ubertuber; 01-13-2006 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The vast majority of doctors are highly knowledgeable and helpful. A small minority of doctors are incompetent or suffer from personal problems. Unfortunately, that small minority tends to get more publicity due to the horror stories they produce. And yes, it is very difficult to get rid of those doctors.
As far as those "stats", it's not even worth addressing since we all know you can get stats to say anything you want and that's clearly the case here.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I admit I want discussion on the topic as I need to see what and why people think the way they do.

This is a topic which could very well be life/death to some of us at some point in time.


I know deaths are caused by anything, but why is it when deaths caused by doctors come up people get defensive.

If I said 100000 died a year because of criminals the reaction would be to take action to stop it, not to excuse it or defend it.

Does it help us to have people with a literal license to kill, even though they do it when trying to help? Should they be untouchable? Does it help us or them?

I think mistakes are inherent in all of us, and I don't expect perfection.

But I do expect acknowledgement of the mistake and stated steps to reduce it from happening again, not trying to avoid responsibilty.



Now there are those that are trying to change things and this is a gigantic step towards this but the medical profession has a history of trying to block diagnostic software.

The most obvious reason is that it takes away the main reason they go to school and exist - diagnosis. It only leaves things like surgery and ER in their area, the rest can be done far better and cheaper by less skilled personel.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/f...NxOpinion.mspx

Last edited by Tachion; 01-13-2006 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBen
Are they wicked smart? Yes.
Not always. I know several doctors who are not smart outside of their area of expertise. They have very little "general" intelligence. My wife works closely with doctors every day. She is not a nurse -- in a nutshell she helps set up their practices. She sees them outside of their "doctor" role.

The best thing you can do is build a relationship with a doctor. Be open and honest about everything you do (drinking, drugs, exercise). Always question a prescription or procedure. A good doctor will appreciate the fact that you are taking an active interest in your own well-being. Talk to the administrative staff at hospitals to find out who the "best" doctors are.

It also comes down to what YOU are comfortable with. Personally, I like my doctors to be women with an "earthy" or "hippy" personality. You may not like that. It has taken me some time to find the perfect doctor for me ... it will take time for you too.

Doctors are not above reproach. That said, they do have to be careful with what they say in this sue-happy society. An apology can appear to be an admission of malpractice in certain situations.

EDITED -- for grammar.

Last edited by vanblah; 01-13-2006 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There ARE steps to address it. Go look up JCAHO. Every hospital has a quality assurance sort of department - ours is called Patient Care and Quality Management. There are all kinds of things every hospital does to monitor their patients and reduce infection rates and mortality/morbidity rates. Every doctor hired goes through an exhaustive credentialing process before being presented to the hospital's medical board. There are sanctions and all that to punish those not in compliance.

And you have to recall - lots of those are due to ER deaths.

Are there idiots? Of course. But it's our jobs as patients/consumers to be aware, and be involved, and be educated about ourselves. Go get YOU: The Owner's Manual and become aware.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachion
But only in very limited areas.

eg: When it come to drugs they largely rely on drug company information and their own 'testing'.

They also are given limited, if not biased, info about natural health remedies.

We have a doctor (orthopedic surgeon) who is known by the staff to be incompetant. However they cannot touch him as the profession protects him. A few years ago a girl died of a broken leg because of his abilities. He is still working. There have been articles written about his trail of destruction but still he is there.

Here are some stats. OK a little dramatic use but I think it is interesting.

Number of physicians in the US: 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000.
Accidental deaths per physician: 0.171
(U.S. Dept.of Health & Human Services)

Number of gun owners in the US: 80,000,000.
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups): 1,500.
Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188


OK guns have no benefit but maybe doctors benefits are not what we think.
Granted, in limited areas. These areas being, well the body, very generally speaking of course. Their probable lack of education in other aspects of the world does not invalidate the extensive education they have received to obtain licensure to work in the medical field.
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Old 01-13-2006, 04:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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As a teacher and as someone in the natural health field, and with Doctors in my family and with many doctor visits behind me at this point in my life.....

A very common error I see many people make, doctors and otherwise, is that they leap into action before fully assessing a situation. So, I'm not surprised about the statistics Tachion posts. Most doctors give extremely little time for assessment and move to conclusions and actions long before full diagnosis is complete. This human behaviour is so pervasive, in many fields, that I tend to think of it as a human trait. It leads to poor decisions, erroneous conclusions and incorrect diagnoses. (BTW You can see this when people argue, too. They spend very little time getting a full idea of what the argument is really all about or what the other person is trying to say before they leap in with their opinions. Same human behaviour.)

The stat I've gotten from medical reports is that 85 % of all illness is Doctor caused, and they know it.

Last edited by Brilliant Idiot; 01-13-2006 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilliant Idiot
The stat I've gotten from medical reports is that 85 % of all illness is Doctor caused, and they know it.
What does this even mean? I don't like call-outs, so please take this in a friendly way, but I don't believe this statistic for a second. I'd really like to know some context to a number like that.
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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OK - fair enough that the source needs to be quoted. Here's the best I can do, cause it's been a long time. When I was first married, my father - in - law (a Doctor) pointed me to a medical journal discussing the stat that 85 % of problems that a doctor treats are iatrogenic, meaning caused by doctors. Later, when my brother became an emergency room physician, I discussed the stat with him. It came as no surprise to him and he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Oh, yah." And later he and my father-in-law were telling me that this is discussed in med school.

Best I can do at the moment. Let me get back to you with some research.

Edit:
Try http://www.iatrogenic.org for starters.

Last edited by Brilliant Idiot; 01-13-2006 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Doctors suck until you need one.

I am currently fighting a very nasty infection that prior to anti-biotics was commonly fatal.

Do you think I'm going to trust someone who sells herbal tea or does energy healing? Fuck no.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm of the opinion that you're responsible for your own health, not your doctor. It is your responsibility to increase your medical literacy, so you understand what your doctor is telling you, and so you can ask educated questions.

Doctors play an important role, certainly, but the overall picture of your health is so big comparatively.

I happen to like doctors a lot, but I'm highly medically literate, and so I know when a doctor isn't treating me correctly (isn't listening to my problem, is moving too quickly into a diagnosis, etc). That's when I find a new doctor.

And Ustwo, some of the best doctors I've met were those who were both medically trained and had an interest in alternative treatments. They seem more interested in finding the root of the problem than just treating the symptoms. Obviously, in your case, the cure is clear and an alternative method wouldn't work. But for many of us with chronic health problems who aren't interested in a pill for every ill, alternative treatments are quite helpful--and again, part of that big picture that is one's overall health and wellness.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onesnowyowl
I'm of the opinion that you're responsible for your own health, not your doctor. It is your responsibility to increase your medical literacy, so you understand what your doctor is telling you, and so you can ask educated questions.

Doctors play an important role, certainly, but the overall picture of your health is so big comparatively.

I happen to like doctors a lot, but I'm highly medically literate, and so I know when a doctor isn't treating me correctly (isn't listening to my problem, is moving too quickly into a diagnosis, etc). That's when I find a new doctor.

And Ustwo, some of the best doctors I've met were those who were both medically trained and had an interest in alternative treatments. They seem more interested in finding the root of the problem than just treating the symptoms. Obviously, in your case, the cure is clear and an alternative method wouldn't work. But for many of us with chronic health problems who aren't interested in a pill for every ill, alternative treatments are quite helpful--and again, part of that big picture that is one's overall health and wellness.
You sure hit the nail on the head!

Personal responsibility is sure missing these days. You can't really put your life in the hands of someone like that without a little personal responsibility. I know, you can argue that you do so every time you get in a plane or a cab, etc. At the same time, I wouldn't fly or ride if there was some bad weather situation or if the plane had obvious problems.

You need to be involved in understanding your medical treatment, just liike would before you spend money to have someone replace a part on your car. And if your Dr. won't take the time you feel you need, perhaps it's time to get another Dr.!! I've done that before.
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onesnowyowl
And Ustwo, some of the best doctors I've met were those who were both medically trained and had an interest in alternative treatments. They seem more interested in finding the root of the problem than just treating the symptoms. Obviously, in your case, the cure is clear and an alternative method wouldn't work. But for many of us with chronic health problems who aren't interested in a pill for every ill, alternative treatments are quite helpful--and again, part of that big picture that is one's overall health and wellness.
I would trust a doctor who looks into alternative medicine with an open mind.

I would not trust someone who is a practitioner of alternative medicine.
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Old 01-14-2006, 01:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Best MD I ever had was also a homeopath. He listened to what you had to say, asked questions, took lots of notes, and laid out all the options, regular and homeopathic. Sometimes I went with allopathy ('regular' medicine), sometimes homeopathy; it always worked out. In acute situations -- fast-moving stuff that could get nasty in a hurry -- he always went with the allopathy. Whatever you want to say about homeopathy, it's interesting to note that intensive listening is part of the prescribed practice. Maybe we should move that over to 'regular' medicine.

As for doctors in general, most of them are employees or virtual employees these days who have only a certain amount of time -- not enough -- to diagnose patients. Many haven't kept up with the latest practice. Many listen too hard, and unquestioning, to what the drug companies say. And a lot were the "C" students back in med school.

In all these ways medical practitioners are very similar to other professionals these days; except that a mediocre lawyer can lose you money, while a mediocre doctor can kill you. Thus, the standards for the medical profession must be higher than for other professions. And they aren't.
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Old 01-14-2006, 04:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
Best MD I ever had was also a homeopath. He listened to what you had to say, asked questions, took lots of notes, and laid out all the options, regular and homeopathic. Sometimes I went with allopathy ('regular' medicine), sometimes homeopathy; it always worked out. In acute situations -- fast-moving stuff that could get nasty in a hurry -- he always went with the allopathy. Whatever you want to say about homeopathy, it's interesting to note that intensive listening is part of the prescribed practice. Maybe we should move that over to 'regular' medicine.

As for doctors in general, most of them are employees or virtual employees these days who have only a certain amount of time -- not enough -- to diagnose patients. Many haven't kept up with the latest practice. Many listen too hard, and unquestioning, to what the drug companies say. And a lot were the "C" students back in med school.

In all these ways medical practitioners are very similar to other professionals these days; except that a mediocre lawyer can lose you money, while a mediocre doctor can kill you. Thus, the standards for the medical profession must be higher than for other professions. And they aren't.
First off, med school classes are "pass/fail" so there are no "C" med school students. And saying the standards for the medical professions must be higher than for toher professions???
Have you tried to get into medical school? Trust me, the standards are very high.

Do not let a couple of bad apples ruin for opinion of all doctors. It is the same as being screwed by one mechanic and then never trusting mechanics ever again.
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:55 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerchamp76
First off, med school classes are "pass/fail" so there are no "C" med school students. And saying the standards for the medical professions must be higher than for toher professions???
Have you tried to get into medical school? Trust me, the standards are very high.

Do not let a couple of bad apples ruin for opinion of all doctors. It is the same as being screwed by one mechanic and then never trusting mechanics ever again.
The grade system for med school varies but most schools are not on a true pass fail. To specialize you need to be 'better' than average for the good specialties so there are often ways schools will show A work even if they don't call it an A.

Really the pass fail system alone promotes mediocrity.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Well, while most have the pass/fail system, they go a bit further. I didn't elaborate before, but some have fail/pass/high pass, or honors. I would disagree with the statement that it promotes mediocrity. The rationale is that it reduces competition among students fighting for extra minute percentage points, or trying to score higher than their neighbor. It promotes learning for the sake of learning.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What is it about this country currently that seems to draw us all to attacking; leaders, professionals, anyone in a position perceived to be above the mediore middle??
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Jealousy or a lack of trust in people.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerchamp76
Well, while most have the pass/fail system, they go a bit further. I didn't elaborate before, but some have fail/pass/high pass, or honors. I would disagree with the statement that it promotes mediocrity. The rationale is that it reduces competition among students fighting for extra minute percentage points, or trying to score higher than their neighbor. It promotes learning for the sake of learning.
Promoting learning for the sake of learning is wonderful and feel good, but its often just lets people be lazy. I wanted to specialize, which meant I had to work my ass off since I knew the competition I'd be facing (the program I was accepted to had 600 applications for 3 spots) and I was FAR better doctor than my fellow students who just wanted to pass because of it.

The problem with pass fail is where they set the fail at. Right now most schools are too easy on students and grade inflation has crept into even the medical fields.

The speech I would have had back in the old days of dental school was 'look to your right, look to your left, in 4 years one of them won't be here.', on the other hand my class lost about 5 students total and only one was due to flunking out, the rest quit not due to grades. I also know that our enterance requirements were LOWER than those days of high flunk outs, so either the teaching got better (ha!) or they were being much easier on us in terms of passing. My fellow 'high achievers' used to lament on some of those late nights how much easier it would be if we just wanted to pass. I would not have spent as many sleepless nights, so many weekends in the lab, and so many hours in a book if I just had to pass.

So while I'm not opposed to a pass fail system per say, we need to bring what is a 'pass' up a few notches first. The same applied to the med school at my university (we often had the same professors).
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:24 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runtuff
What is it about this country currently that seems to draw us all to attacking; leaders, professionals, anyone in a position perceived to be above the mediore middle??

I believe we are questioning if over a 100,000 deaths a year ( and far more injuries) as being something that should just be ignored.

You always have to monitor those given power and responsibility and adjust when you see them losing sight of why they where given that power and trust.

That is the only way things will get better.
Defending abuse of power because of 'faith' in them will not likely lead to improvement in the situation.
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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see, i love numbers. especially meaningless ones.

Yes, lots of people get fatal infections in the hospital. They were there because they were immunocompromised in the first place. Think the very elderly...who go in because of some other serious injury, take a long time to heal because of their age, and in that time catch something else. Is that really the fault of the hospital, or simply the reality that they're susceptible to illness at an advanced age?

Complications happen. Some of them are truely preventable. But if you granny to have her hip set after a fall, that's going to mean hospital time...and that's always a risk. That number is opportunity cost, not compared to the alternative. If a hospital saves a million, but lets 100 die, was that worth it?
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Well, while most have the pass/fail system, they go a bit further. I didn't elaborate before, but some have fail/pass/high pass, or honors. I would disagree with the statement that it promotes mediocrity. The rationale is that it reduces competition among students fighting for extra minute percentage points, or trying to score higher than their neighbor. It promotes learning for the sake of learning.
It also covers the behinds of the doctors when some people check up on their degress and ask what grades they got in med school. A doctor probably wouldn't like any C grades leaking out into the general public.

Quote:
Do you think I'm going to trust someone who sells herbal tea or does energy healing? Fuck no.
I'm trying really hard not to incite a tangental discussion or make a scene, but is this attitude a result of a bad experience or something related? Ustwo, I hope your basis for what comes across to me as vehemence is not due to fearmongering stories you can site on the Internet about quacks and the like, but because of something else. I bring all this up because I feel this goes along the same lines as the original post, in that your distrust of "alternative" treatments (which is also apparent in the holistic thread going around) might help us shed some insight on just why any of us might choose to trust the voice of one alleged doctor over another.

Personally, I wouldn't trust ANY doctor unless they paid the appropriate amount of attention to what I was telling them, laid out the options clearly and as unbiased as possible (and in doing so showed that they knew what they were talking about), and would not be ashamed to refer my healthcare to someone they felt was more appropriately experienced. This is how we build trust amongst friends and people we see everyday, so I use the same criteria for doctors too.
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:46 PM   #29 (permalink)
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My opinion on this is simple, if not for my doctors, I would've been dead at any point over the last near decade. You can make your own decision about what to do if you ever need medical help, but I kind of enjoy breathing.
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