Missing the Diagnosis – One Fine Doctor at a Time

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Ok. I give up!

I know I said that doctors care. And they do. At least most of them do. But then there are some who are either too incompetent or Ok. I give up. I know I said that doctors care. And they do. At least most of them do. But then there are some who are either too incompetent or too ignorant or just too damn arrogant to admit even to themselves that they don’t know what the heck is really going on with their patient.

I saw a patient yesterday who has seen at least 5 different doctors in Bahawalpur and Multan in the last two months. After two months of looking for answers for his poor health, all he has for a diagnosis is anemia (Low Hemoglobin.) Someone performed an ultrasound exam a week ago, and declared that his abdominal organs are all normal.

Here’s the thing. No one performed a physical exam on him. Not one of the doctors that he has seen in the last two months managed to see that he has an enlarged liver, an enlarged spleen and enlarged lymph nodes all over! A final year medical student could tell you that it looks like the patient has lymphoma. But not these five practitioners of the art of healing. As for the ultrasound, I wonder if the machine was even turned on when the exam was being performed.

I said last week that most doctors do care for their patients. They do try to get it right. And sometimes, being human, they make mistakes. I know I make mistakes every day. Show me someone who says he doesn’t make mistakes and I’ll show you a lier. In this case however, it wasn’t one mistake. It wasn’t one doctor. One after another, five different doctors failed this patient. And I can’t defend that.

2 thoughts on “Missing the Diagnosis – One Fine Doctor at a Time

  1. Ashraf Chaudhry

    Dr Omar, Greetings! Many congrats to vent out, blurt out and shout out. Your blogging was over-due!

    This is dilemma that many doctors are so casual. Sometimes they feel under pressure to prescribe expensive medicines. Some four years back, my younger sister was having consistent fever. She was put on anti-biotics then on steriods by a famous consultant. One day her fever was touching 103, and we rushed her to Doctors Hospital. She remained in the hospital for four days and her fever was not coming down. More than 20 tests were done on her. As a reaction to some medicine, she had her face literally hanging and eyes popping out. I started shouting at doctors and I created a big scene. I told them that if something happened to my sister, no one will be alive here.

    There was a lady doctor from some govt hospital on a visit. She observed all this. She came to my sister and started reading the file. In a few moments, she asked me to talk to her outside the room. She said: Take your sister to home and cool her body with water and give only panadol and she prescribed a few tests and she said tests should be done only from AKUH. One of the tests took 15 days for the report. Ultimately it was diagnosed that she had RA Factor. We paid around Rs 50,000 to Doctors Hospital.

    When people attack doctors, there are many genuine reasons. Messiahs when become merchants or mercenaries, then revenge comes in.

    Keep blogging and keep sharing and keep amazing.

    Reply

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