After much contemplation, many rough responses from the hope-and-unicorns crowd, and watching yet another TED talk ( if you don’t know what TED Talks are – Google it!) given by ePatient Dave, I’ve decided that I want to shift my focus away from whining and ACTIVELY work change the face of health care as we know it today. I want to make a real difference.
I want to call doctors on their sarcastic attitudes about so-called “cyberchondriacs” and hold them responsible for dismissing patients as “horses” that think they are “zebras.” (We are are familiar with that quote.)
Let me fill you in on a brief example of 2 exchanges I had on an iPhone app called “HealthTap” that makes bold claims in their Mission Statement such as: “We’re dedicated to improving people’s health and well-being by providing our users personalized health information and free online and mobile answers from thousands of the best physicians in the U.S. Our goal is to help people better understand health, make more informed health decisions and find the very best doctors.”
(REALLY. Bullshit, not in my experience with any if their so-called experts.)
We’re also committed to our physicians. We want to help doctors better serve existing patients, find new ones and build their reputations by We’re also committed to our physicians. We want to help doctors better serve existing patients, find new ones and build their reputations by demonstrating their expertise online.
We believe that everyone has the right to free, reliable, and independent health information. We also believe that the most trustworthy health information comes from medical experts and that the best health decisions take into account unbiased expert knowledge, community insights and relevant data.
We’ve created HealthTap to reflect these beliefs, and to be available to you, anytime and anywhere.
Again – BULLSHIT,
I want to tell these so-called expert doctors that tell me things such as. “There’s an old saying in medicine that ‘common things happen commonly. The corollary to that wisdom is that ‘rare things happen rarely.’ Baroreceptor failure (a condition that has been postulated by my docs IRL that I MAY have.) is so rare, that you can forget about it. look for a different explanation .’
Wow. Really??? Telling a person to just forget about a diagnosis!!! bold move. Essentially telling a patient that they couldn’t possibly have anything rare (especially after providing this service with my entire recent health (or lack thereof) history. Not only ballsy, but incredibly disrespectful truly and downright inappropriate.
Same doc (lucky freaking me) – different query: I have bizarre BP readings. Very. I have a well-documented autonomic disorder, that primarily effects BP regulation and responses in the body. I write this service about a very strange reading I just got – just my luck – same snarky doc answers my question. This time, his words of cluelessness were insulting AND stupid: “it isn’t physiologically (possible) to have pulse pressures of 10-20.i doubt those pressures are accurate and that your cuff is mis-sizedor that your device is inaccurate, mist likely the former. A common cause of this is a large arm. Is your arm large?”
Keeping in mind that the docs that answer these queries have access to ALL of our health info, from age to weight (hint hint) and all of our most recent diagnosis, data and medications.
And this guy not only told me I don’t know how to take my BP, I don’t know how to accurately record my BP, but I’m also FAT,
This is just a tiny example of the poor quality, “allegedly” cutting edge medical help available me via an app on our awesome iPhones. I have had several responses from docs just as rude and horrible – I just cannot believe that people are using this app instead of going to valid, genuine medical websites (not WebMD or “support sites” sprouted like weeds on Facebook, for example) but sites like the Mayo, Medscape, NEJM, MedWhat, UpToDate, etc.
I want to have an effect on sites like this HealthTap – they make bold claims, then treat educated people in distress like dolts.
I have more stellar examples of rudeness and incompetence. But I won’t bore you,
I want to change things for patients. I want to make THEM the respected person in the doctor-patient relationship, I want patients to be keenly listened to as if they were the most important person in that doctors’ office.
Because they are.