Grrrr......getting more and more steamed at the doctors caring for my son's friend. After-visit notes on his visit to the neuro-specialist to his neurologist included (accidentally I'm sure) the specialist saying that the patient "apparently consulted with an outside doctor (I have no idea what type, but I'm guessing webmd)".......

You can bet I wrote her a scathing two page letter about my certifications and clinical experience, (no, I am NOT "webmd") about the ludicrously inaccurate things his doctors there have said to him, and thanking her for finally referring him to someone who should know what they're talking about but suggested that she should treat patients with the same respect that she would want for a family member.

Honestly some doctors are such jerks. And if this woman (looks to be in her mid-late 30's) has such a dismissive attitude to patients who are smart enough to research their own conditions NOW, how bad will she get in the future? (This kid is super bright and has accurately interpreted all the information on his probable illness online, understands well that it's not a definitive diagnosis yet, and can clearly see the stupid inconsistencies in what these doctors have been doing. For instance - the eye specialist writes that the problem with his eye is intrinsic to each eye but sends him for eye exercises that do NOTHING for that problem or the problem we think he has either. )

That old paternalistic view of medicine ("I'M the doctor and just listen to what I say - god FORBID you look anything up yourself") just ticks me off and to see that BS coming from a young female doctor is really even more infuriating. I'm sure she thinks she knows more about this disease than me because she's the specialist - and she SHOULD know more but clearly she DOESN'T!!!!!

It reminds me of an incident in my residency. As senior family medicine residents, we took turns being Chief of Service for the patients admitted to us in the hospital. One of my fellow residents was Chief that month. We had an old Japanese doctor in town who admitted all of his patients to our service, where the residents cared for them. Normally when patients were admitted to the ICU, they were under the care of the Pulmonary Fellow, but when they were moved to the floor they became ours if they were a patient admitted to our service. (The Pulmonary fellow is someone who completed their residency in internal medicine and is now doing years of further advanced training in pulmonology. Much higher ranking than a Family Medicine resident).

Anyway - one day the old Japanese doctor calls my friend and asks her - "would you go look at my patient? He was admitted to the ICU with chest pain but I don't think they know what they're doing with him".

She went to see him and as soon as she entered the room, the wife asked her - "Could this be tetanus? We have a lot of tetanus in Japan" (they were from Japan). My friend examined the patient, did a little reading, and came to the conclusion that this could, indeed be tetanus. But of course, SHE was just a lowly Family Medicine resident. The notes in the chart read something like this (more detailed, of course, but this was the gist):

My friend: Looks like tetanus!
Pulmonary Fellow: Ha! Nice diagnosis but I DOUBT it!
Infectious disease specialist called into the case: "Absolutely CLASSIC case of tetanus!"

Now, I often tell this story to demonstrate a point. I can pretty much guarantee that if you had given them both a multiple choice exam, the pulmonary fellow would have known more about tetanus than my fellow family medicine resident. BUT my friend had two skills he didn't have - she knew how to LISTEN TO THE PATIENT and how to LOOK SH!T UP! Extraordinarily valuable skills that too many physicians don't seem to have anymore.

I know it's a rare commodity today, but having a family doctor who knows you and will advocate for your care is really valuable. And I'm sorry so many doctors out there are insecure a-holes.