Doctors are very much like investigators. They must collect clues and attempt to diagnose on those particular clues. As with investigators, some do a much better job than others. The good ones keep looking deeper and keep their minds open to all sorts of new possibilities until a correct solution can be found. They are able to view from very obscure angles and put together the clues in very clever, inventive ways to discover hidden and/or new solutions. Others, of which there’s many, simply take the clues given to them, assume the first and most common prognosis to decide that it indeed has to be the correct one.
Diagnosis and Treatments
One woman’s misdiagnosis was typical. Her fingers were giving her too much pain. The first test that she was given was for arthritis, the major cause of any joint pain. Then, when the test for arthritis proved to be negative, her physician was faced with two options, find and discover the root of the pain, or prescribe something to help alleviate the pain. The physician, in this case, took an easier route and prescribed some pain medication.
Would taking a further investigative look have made any difference at all? Well, the truth of the matter is, we might never really know. Inflammation of the finger joints is very rare and yet a known indicator of sarcoma. If the physician in question had done more investigative testing and then uncovered cancer, perhaps some possible tumors could have been dealt with and the woman would have survived. However, when discovered two years later on, it was too late for the lady to survive.
University hospitals, which are teaching and research hospitals, are much better for diagnosing uncommon symptoms and then giving cutting edge therapies that are typical at standard hospitals. These are standard research hospitals and they are in continual partnership with other universities that are also doing research.
The doctors at these hospitals also tend to be much better at analyzing clues and they are always looking outside the box. They are more than likely to look past inconclusive tests and develop a much more accurate diagnosis. It’s not that other hospitals and clinics do not have well-meaning doctors and good therapies, but tend to apply one common therapy to all patients with common complaints, and thereby reduce their operating costs significantly. They also often very good at handling common maladies, but their physicians tend to not look outside of the box. Unfortunately, that may be where the answers lie, especially in order to solve many problems in the medical field.
Pretty much all new therapies and discoveries come out of University hospitals, surprisingly even though one might not think so initially. If the information is not taken in by government intervention or from challenges by companies with a vested interest in existing effective therapies, it will then flow out of the Universities and gets disseminated and implemented over time to many other hospitals and doctors.
So, therefore, we can learn from this to not accept the prognosis of a doctor where the test results do not support that specific diagnosis. It’s very important to always get a second opinion, especially from a university hospital where research is being done, if it’s possible.