Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Doctors don't know Everything

Doctors think they know everything. I used to think so too.

If the doctor told me to drink toilet water and smear toothpaste on my hair because it would help my vocal chords, I would listen blindly. I used to think that if the doctor went through x amount of years in medical school and made it here, it must be that he knew what he was talking about.

Of course, that was before I found out that they were passing by using Google and then getting drunk every night in the local bar...

Then I started seeing things happen that the doctors themselves couldn't explain. Kids who lived through "fatal" tumors, and kids who died from
"minor surgery."

I proved my heart could withstand pregnancy after chemo without a single drop in performance, and that my lungs went through each round of chemo without losing even a decimal of its former ability.

Kids like me were told the facts before we even started and some of us went and turned those facts into myths, right in front of our doctors' eyes.

I feel like slapping the kid who called me up crying that she only had a 90% chance of ever having kids- the same chance as almost anyone who never went through chemo anyway, and feel like bursting her eardrums with the stories of patients I knew who shocked the world with a baby after being declared 95% infertile.

I would never go to a doctor who said he didn't know anything, but then again, I would never go to a doctor who claimed to know everything. My doctor always impressed on me that he was Hashem's shaliach and that he was obligated to tell me what it said in the textbooks, but that he knew that nothing had to be true if Hashem didn't want it to be.

I still think doctors know a lot, but now I know they don't know everything. (Especially after the toothpaste and toilet water regimen...and yes I'm joking about that one! *rolls eyes*)

***Just as an addition, I was at the doctor for a random checkup today (a few days after the original post) and I had a funny rash he wasn't sure what to do with. My husband suggested a cream he had used on a similar rash. The doctor had never heard of this medication and so right in front of us he took out his blackberry and Googled it. He found out what the cream was made of and found that it would serve my rash very well indeed. I was so impressed that he listened to my husband's suggestion when he could have easily insisted that he was the doctor and that he knew what he was talking about...***


Zach Kessin said...

A good question to ask a prospective doctor (or rabbi really) is when you don't know what is your plan to find out. Lets face everyone does not know some of the time and knowing how to research it and find out is a very important skill. (might make a good lesson for your students too, research skills are so useful)

Scraps said...

As my father likes to say, "M.D." does not stand for "Minor Deity"! ;-) Doctors are just as human as the rest of us, and they certainly don't know everything! And the ones who think they do scare me.

j said...

Just recently heard/saw about your book and (this) blog and radio interviews etc etc. Keep up your great work you've been a chizuk to all of us!!! I really can't wait to buy and read your book next time I'm in NY.
a cousin from abroad

Anonymous said...

A family member is undergoing chemo at Johns Hopkins and one of the things that impressed me at the orientation was the statement that "NO ONE can predict who will make it and who won't". Statistics can say that there is a certain percent survival rate overall, but there is simply NO WAY to predict an INDIVIDUAL'S outcome. Every oncology doc will tell you that he is baffled by certain patients who "should have made it" but didn't, as well as patients who were for sure "goners" and are alive and kicking 15 years later. HaKol Bydei Shamayim!

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