February 2, 2011

Suggestions for Doctors

Sometimes doctors are open to suggestions from patients and other doctors will never take suggestions from patients. But I will still make suggestions as most of my doctors have not turned them away completely. Some have even admitted that they like a few of them, but don't have the time or office staff time to put them into effect. That I do understand. Now I will need to ask some questions to find out if there is something I am able to do that would be accepted.

My main suggestion has been to have a list of acceptable web sites to get patients started in their research. Also a list of books about the disease, to be in the local library or ordered on line. These would vary by disease or illness. For this discussion I am talking about diabetes and the related complications, but this will involve more then just diabetes when I get started. I have worked on lists for one doctor recently and am encouraged again after reading a blog by Dr. Fran Cogen.

Her statement in the blog of “Families often walk into their appointments with reams of Internet papers and articles strongly suggesting a certain form of treatment.” When this is what doctors see and get, it is easy to understand why they are less than happy about the internet.

Dr. Cogen has an excellent discussion about information overload and why this is sometimes not a good thing. People on information overload often become incapable of making a simple decision. They have too many ideas to digest and this causes them to not make a decision.

Dr. Cogen also does not like “the paternalistic approach in which the physician and team reverts to the 'father knows best' mantra.” Many doctors do use this and even this is not always the best or most appropriate. Often the best decisions are made from a few well thought out possibilities that are discussed with the patient and/or their advocate.

I am taking this and trying to pare down the internet resources to a few good sources to help people find information and then ask the doctors to review the list and add or subtract from this list. This is going to take some time, but I am looking forward to see what reaction I will receive from some of the different doctors with the different specialties.

Of course, the diabetes, type 2, is complete, but I have a lot to do for the rest. I do believe that people are more internet conscious and savvy than ten or more years ago and people need good information. The doctors deserve consideration and not being buried in unrelated papers that have no bearing on the subject of the visit. I may even suggest that the doctors have a book list for patients to order through them.

There will always be changes to the sources as some sites shut down and other good sites appear. New books appear all the time and while many may be good, some are far better. Some of the current books will continue to be relevant as they are updated with revisions to stay current. Each type of diabetes is different and needs its own resources.

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