Monday, April 27, 2015

MS

When I was rotating through neurology as a medical student, one of the patients on our inpatient service was another medical student from the class above mine who was having a multiple sclerosis exacerbation.

I really have to question her decision to come to the hospital where she worked to be treated for her condition. But that aside, a lot of the things she told me about how she was treated sort of blew my mind.

Apparently, several of her attending asked her if she had ever considered switching to another profession. And honestly, it seems like it would be very hard to get through medical school and residency with multiple sclerosis, but that's her decision. It's not the job of her attendings to question her on that.

Apparently, one attending got very upset at her and told her she needed a psychiatric evaluation because she had attempted to hide her condition. In all honesty, I think it's fairly obvious why she tried to hide it.

8 comments:

  1. It's a thing among (especially senior) doctors to try to dictate who THEY think should be doctors. Annoying and unasked for, really.

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    1. Although they already kinda do that with the interview/admissions process...

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  2. Sometimes students don't really get a choice if they want to be covered in-network. I know our insurance requires us to seek care at our own university hospital/health centers. I saw other med students I knew (in the halls) when I was hospitalized and first diagnosed with bipolar disorder - one told me all of them saw me on the census too. So much for the anonymity they promised.

    Imagine what those attendings you mentioned would say if I disclosed my condition, even though I am well-managed now and haven't had any symptoms since...

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    1. It seems they could admit a medical student/professional with a pseudonym similar to how we admit injured gang members under false names to avoid in-hospital gang wars.

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  3. For all the HIPAA training physicians get, I'd also like to add that I have seen people in this profession afford their own colleagues (and students) absolutely no respect for privacy. … Not entirely related to your point, but upsetting. … And I think physicians (I am not quite there yet, but I will do it to) like to assume more knowledge than they really have about any one condition and how given person should be handling it. You would think exposure to such a breadth of patients and presentations (there is nobody who is "average") would allow a wider view … It just doesn't. … The course of MS, as we all know, varies quite a bit. Of course with that diagnosis you can't predict what path your own disease might follow. I personally greatly admire and respect someone who chooses not to put their life on hold, not to limit their own achievements. … Not the same thing but a student was dying of cancer when I was in college. He chose to keep attending until near death. Some people questioned that decision. (Come on people, is there no limit to our willingness to judge other people's personal decisions?) … I thought it was so admirable that he was so sure of the path he was chosen that he wanted to be on that path as long as his health would allow. We can never know what decisions we would make in another person's position. If they are not doing something to harm others we should really just be reminded of the health we enjoy and lend moral support to those facing bigger obstacles. ...

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  4. I am surprised that they ADA didn't rip them a new one. Ask a patient, we don't care what you look like, if you know your stuff and give a crap, we'll take you. Gasp some patients have physical problems, handicaps, and suspect highly that if had some human docs that had that too, we'd know we had someone who understood what it was like. I guess that still hasn't gotten through to the medical profession: common sense? LOL

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  5. I was diagnosed with cancer during medical school and, when applying for a medical leave of absence to do chemo, the medical school administration questioned why I would be going to a different hospital to receive treatment when their oncology program is well regarded. I responded "no offense, but I'd rather not have my student peers and supervising attendings seeing me in that vulnerable of a position." Plus, it's breast cancer and I've had enough awkward breast exams for one lifetime (med students at the hospital I did go to), without all of my classmates seeing my chest!!

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  6. I think it is actually worse with a chronic pain condition (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). I have had many physicians (attendings and specialists I am seeing as a patient) tell me that a) It is nice that you made it this far...but maybe you should look at doing something else or b) Hey, research is a great field or lastly c) Suck it up/it is all in your head

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