Am I being wrongly diagnosed?

Dear Doctor,

I have been seeing a particular doctor but I feel he often makes wrong the diagnosis of my conditions. Can I confront him with alternative views on what I may be ailing from without affecting his attitude towards me?

 

Simon

 

Dear Simon,

 

Are you definitely sure about the fact that the doctor attending to you is making wrong diagnosis?  Because in this era of electronic knowledge many factual and many half factual theories are existing on the internet. Many times at the end of a health-related blog or so called news, a disclaimer is also put at the end. This may be like, “more citations needed, help us improve this site or, “views are that of the author and we claim no responsibility”. At times, the advertisement of some medicine or health-related agency is put in such a way that information given by them looks very realistic and people are impressed by it. Sometimes people develop ideas about their sickness based on stories told by relatives or friends. But there would be no scientific basis for any of these theories. 

Often, a doctor diagnoses a condition based on history of the ailment and physical examination. With this, he may narrow down the condition to two or three closely related diagnosis for the malady. Relevant investigations help in confirming or excluding a particular diagnosis. The necessary tests may not be available at that place. Sometimes, a particular test may be very expensive and the treating doctor being considerate may think of asking for it only if absolutely necessary and unavoidable.  Good response to a given treatment itself confirms the suspected diagnosis. A doctor’s experience of seeing patients over several years also helps him in diagnosing a disease.

Most of the doctors are open to listening to the fears, apprehensions and views of a patient or his family members. You can always discuss your point of view with him. But without diagnostic tests, how you can be sure of your own diagnosis? Go ahead and discuss your problem freely with your doctor. In fact, active participation of a patient in decision making regarding his treatment and approach to it is a done thing today. Patients in fact are encouraged to share their views, anxiety, related to their disease and actively participate in decisions regarding management.

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