I love that patients have so many more tools to learn about their health. Between Google, TV, magazines and the thousand-word warning that comes with every prescription, it’s almost like you don’t need a doctor. This is especially true if you do the two most important things for your health: eat less and exercise more.
Except it’s not really that simple. There’s a reason it takes at least seven years to churn out a primary care doctor. There’s a reason your eyes glaze over when you ask me how a pill works, and I launch into pathophysiology and pharmacology. I mean, I love this.. I think about medicine all day and all night, and I’ve been thinking about it for about twenty years. When I see an interesting blurb in the news, I hunt down the source to see if there is a new paper, a poster presentation, or maybe just a press release from a drug company. While you are stopping your life-saving medicine because your friend’s friend posted something on your Facebook feed, I’m stopping by the hospital, reading up on new developments that will help my patients, and checking on lab results.
Google doesn’t care about your health. Some guy on Facebook doesn’t care about what’s important to you. Dr. Oz doesn’t care if your depression is the reason you haven’t been taking your insulin. If you are worried about something you read about a disease or a medicine, why do you automatically believe “some guy”? I’ve been doing this for a long, long time (and I’ll be paying off those loans for a long, long time).
Come see me sometime.
“PalMD” is an internal medicine physician who blogs at White Coat Underground.