Sep 6, 2010

diagnosing behind my back

You may recall a few months ago I saw an Internist who discussed the possibility of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia with me...I was not impressed.

I just asked for a copy of her report to my family physician and was shocked to find the following statement "I have diagnosed this patient with fibromyalgia". WTF??

When we discussed fibromyalgia during my appointment, she seemed to agree with me that it did not apply to me (fatigue being my dominant complaint) and even wondered aloud about whether or not fibromyalgia even exists as a clinical entity. She never once touched me during the appointment. In answer to my questions about the validity of 'trigger points', I was told me that "too much knowledge" can be a dangerous thing.

Why did she not tell me her diagnosis in person?

It feels disrespectful to have a diagnosis on my medical file that does not in any way reflect what was said during my appointment. It feels disrespectful to be given a diagnosis that the doctor herself doubts even exists!

But most of all, I am angry that she chose to write this in her report; avoiding saying this conclusion directly to me, face to face.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is pretty common and half the problem. Patients have no idea what doctors are writing about them behind their back.

    My toddler's docs consistently write things that did not happen and were not discussed. They give me a diagnosis to my face, but it never shows up in the notes. Very irritating.

    But it explains a lot of the disconnect in healthcare.

    I think we need to get to where patients are reviewing and signing off on doctor notes at the end of the appointment so the written record is reviewed and reconciled before it's committed to the patient's file.

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