Saturday, February 19, 2011
Would You Like Fries With That?
I've seen electronics develop greatly since the time I was in medical school. I remember getting my first Palm and "synching" programs to help make studying easier with my fellow colleagues. I remember our brand new auditorium boasting that one day all of the students would be able to instantly download the lecture to their personal laptops. Wow, how could a medical student afford the $3300 a laptop would cost....?
Fast forward to now where I look up everything from medication interactions, to the latest antibiotics therapies, to calculating free water deficits on my phone. My laptop is my, almost, constant companion. And that dream of one day using a tablet-based medical logging system is now becoming a reality. I, of course, should have patented my App for that.
But, what I find hard getting used to is patients who come in and tell you what their problem is, how they would like it treated, and could you freshen their coffee while you're at it.
I have always advocated for patient rights. I tell patients it's their responsibility to ask questions of their doctors so that they are well-informed about their illnesses. But, really? I've called primary care physicians at home to talk to their patients who come into the emergency department because they don't believe me when I tell them to stop their medications, and that, no, they won't die, well unless they don't stop their medications. I know what you read on WebMD but that relates to a certain population which you're not a part of. I know that "Diagnose That" said that because your skin looks green under a full moon you could have a metabolic disorder, but if you read further or did some more research, the fact that you're still alive at 22 means you probably don't have something where the average survival age is 2.
I read somewhere that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing... just continue to quote the internet to someone who's dedicated at least 12 years of their lives to studying medicine. Mmhmm...