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  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Hi guys, just looking for some advice.

    I find it incredibly difficult to trust doctors/specialists etc. I know they have trained for years and have alot of experience but I can't shake the worry that they have missed something. Particularly when you have to rely on their word in the absence of concrete diagnostic tests (because they don't deem them necessary).

    For example - recently I have become consumed with the fear of skin cancer although my derm was satisfied with dermascopy that a biopsy wasn't needed for the area of particular concern. Several other specialists I have spoke to online have said the same. Everyone is telling me I need to trust them because they are the experts and I know deep down that the chances of them being wrong are so small. Yet I can't shake the feeling that I will be one of the ones they miss. I feel so responsible for my health and that it is only me who will look out for me and that if I don't beg them for the surgery it will be me who pays for it.

    I'm really finding it difficult place my trust in someone else when I am so convinced it's dangerous. I know this is the nature of the HA beast and that no reassurance is ever enough and we need to learn to be comfortable with uncertainty. But how do you do that when there is even the smallest risk it could end badly, it seems a risk you shouldn't take :(

    Does anyone have any advice on how they manage to trust medical professionals? Thanks so much in advance.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2018
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    259

    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    I sometimes find if I ask them "how they know" it helps to set my mind at rest, and their explanation helps me to make my mind up on whether I trust them or not.

    In some cases get a second opinion.

    If it is a lump keeping a casual eye on whether it changes over time and getting it rechecked if you notice any significant change is a good idea, but don't get too caught up about checking this regularly.

    If it is a lump that is bothering you like you're continuously getting it caught on things then you might be able to get it frozen off so it is no longer a worry. I did that with a lump on my arm I got from an insect bite.

    Beyond that there is not much you can do.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    I can understand doubt and uncertainty regarding a GP's opinion but when you upgrade to a specialist/consultant's opinion then I think you have to trust their diagnosis because that is their area of speciality and who are you to question it?

    There will always be a level of uncertainty and you can never be 100% certain but you have to learn to trust a qualified and specialised medical opinion based on many years of study and research..which is more than can be said of Dr Google who is cheap, instantly available and very flawed re his ability to diagnose individual medical issues.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2018
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    I can understand doubt and uncertainty regarding a GP's opinion but when you upgrade to a specialist/consultant's opinion then I think you have to trust their diagnosis because that is their area of speciality and who are you to question it?

    There will always be a level of uncertainty and you can never be 100% certain but you have to learn to trust a qualified and specialised medical opinion based on many years of study and research..which is more than can be said of Dr Google who is cheap, instantly available and very flawed re his ability to diagnose individual medical issues.
    I've seen specialists for eyes, hernia, heart, lumps in chest, GERD, allergies, diet, and mental health. Sometimes it helps to consult trusted sites on Google so you can have an informed discussion with the specialist but generally specialists are pretty knowledgeable and make me feel reassured. Sometimes they are just fantastic and really help me stop worrying about things with their explanations.

    The only outright incorrect statement I got from a specialist was relating to GERD and PPI medication. The GERD specialist said I should feel free to up my dose as needed and I didn't need to worry about side effects. I knew he was wrong from personal experience and because an allergy specialist told me taking too high a dose of PPIs could increase the severity of my allergic reactions.

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantMogwai View Post
    I sometimes find if I ask them "how they know" it helps to set my mind at rest, and their explanation helps me to make my mind up on whether I trust them or not.

    In some cases get a second opinion.

    If it is a lump keeping a casual eye on whether it changes over time and getting it rechecked if you notice any significant change is a good idea, but don't get too caught up about checking this regularly.

    If it is a lump that is bothering you like you're continuously getting it caught on things then you might be able to get it frozen off so it is no longer a worry. I did that with a lump on my arm I got from an insect bite.

    Beyond that there is not much you can do.
    I definitely wish I asked more questions, I always get so anxious in appointments that my mind just goes to mush. People say to write stuff down I want to ask in advance but alot of the time I don't know until they've given me their opinions and by the time I think of it I've already left.

    I am trying to just keep an eye on things in case they keep changing but I have OCD and this ends up being about 100 times a day. It's such a toxic vicious circle because I know I have to be vigilant but at the same time there is too much.

    ---------- Post added at 18:55 ---------- Previous post was at 18:53 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    I can understand doubt and uncertainty regarding a GP's opinion but when you upgrade to a specialist/consultant's opinion then I think you have to trust their diagnosis because that is their area of speciality and who are you to question it?

    There will always be a level of uncertainty and you can never be 100% certain but you have to learn to trust a qualified and specialised medical opinion based on many years of study and research..which is more than can be said of Dr Google who is cheap, instantly available and very flawed re his ability to diagnose individual medical issues.
    I know that you should respect their diagnosis because they are highly trained and I appreciate the chances that they have missed something and I am right are minuscule - but you see so many stories of missed skin cancer etc and it's so hard to not become focused on the what ifs.

  6. #6
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    If its a lump and you're looking at it 100 times a day get it frozen off.

    Otherwise try to forget about it. Whatever you are looking at is not going to change 100 times in a day.

    Next time you see a really old person look at all their skin blemishes, moles, and spots. They're fine, try to not worry about it too much. Easier said than done but give it a go.

    I always forget to ask questions even if I'm calm. Sometimes you can reach the specialist through the secretary to answer your most important nagging query but after that you just need to draw a line on it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Are you deliberately looking for stories re misdiagnoses because if you are my advice would be don't. There are rarely stories about correct and accurate diagnoses because to Dr Google "patients" they have no interest.

  8. #8
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantMogwai View Post
    If its a lump and you're looking at it 100 times a day get it frozen off.

    Otherwise try to forget about it. Whatever you are looking at is not going to change 100 times in a day.

    Next time you see a really old person look at all their skin blemishes, moles, and spots. They're fine, try to not worry about it too much. Easier said than done but give it a go.

    I always forget to ask questions even if I'm calm. Sometimes you can reach the specialist through the secretary to answer your most important nagging query but after that you just need to draw a line on it.
    Itís a mole. My derm didnít want to the surgery to remove it because itís in a difficult location and she is confident itís benign. I usually manage to accept specialist opinions but because this is so visual I think itís affected me more than usual as itís something to constantly look at.

    ---------- Post added at 19:31 ---------- Previous post was at 19:30 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Are you deliberately looking for stories re misdiagnoses because if you are my advice would be don't. There are rarely stories about correct and accurate diagnoses because to Dr Google "patients" they have no interest.
    I will admit I have searched for misdiagnosis because I wanted to know if I was able to trust the specialist. But I agree they wonít post about all the times they were right just the few they werenít but I really struggle with any sort of risk :(

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    But it's a risk searching for misdiagnosis stories because they will massively impact on your HA and ability to trust a specialist's assessment of your own mole. Why take that risk? You have no proof that these stories are even true. What is true is your own assessment.

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice on how to trust medical advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    But it's a risk searching for misdiagnosis stories because they will massively impact on your HA and ability to trust a specialist's assessment of your own mole. Why take that risk? You have no proof that these stories are even true. What is true is your own assessment.
    Yes I know you are completely right. I know I shouldnít be googling anything in all honesty because it never helps and always makes me worse. I just feel so responsible for myself and itís very hard for me to place my trust in someone else when it is something related to life and death basically. Even though they are the specialist and Iím not, I know it makes no sense when you say it out loud but in my brain itís so scary.

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