Don’t worry your pretty little head over your health care decisions

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

My late mother, like many women of her generation, never even imagined telling her doctor that she wanted a second medical opinion, even if she suspected that her doctor’s treatment or advice was lacking. This means that my mother would rather die than get a second opinion. To ask for one would have been rude and insulting to her physician, and that could simply never ever happen.  Whatever her doctor said went unquestioned. He was the boss of her health care.

Many women today continue my mother’s preference for abdicating responsibility for one’s own healthcare. A study of women over 40 done by The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (called the LIPSTICK Survey) reported that only 10% of women surveyed knew their personal cardiac risk factors, versus 64% of women who know how much they weighed in high school Continue reading “Don’t worry your pretty little head over your health care decisions”

Doctors who aren’t afraid of “Medical Googlers”

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

Many physicians worry about patients like me who go online to look up their medical conditions. They worry that we patients are not capable of understanding what we’re reading.  They worry that all that medical terminology is too confusing for us. They worry that patients don’t know how to research complicated medical issues. Patients, after all, haven’t been to med school and may be easily confused or mislead by what we find online.

Then there’s Dr. Joe Ketcherside MD.

He recently responded to my post called What Doctors Really Think of Women Who Are Medical Googlers (republished on LinkedIn’s Digital Health forum) – and with his kind permission, I’d like to share what one physician has to say to his worried colleagues:     Continue reading “Doctors who aren’t afraid of “Medical Googlers””

A second opinion from Dr. Google

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

I’ve often suspected that if only the E.R. doctor who misdiagnosed me with indigestion had bothered to just Google my cardiac symptoms (chest pain, nausea, sweating and pain radiating down my left arm), he and Dr. Google would have almost immediately hit upon my correct diagnosis: myocardial infarction, or heart attack. But instead, he pronounced that I was “in the right demographic” for acid reflux. I was sent home that day feeling horribly embarrassed for having made a fuss over nothing but a case of indigestion. As time went by, however, and my debilitating symptoms became truly unbearable, I turned to Dr. Google.

And that’s why I forced myself, despite my embarrassment, to return to the E.R. – but with the pronouncement of that first E.R. doc still ringing in my ears:

“It is NOT your heart!”

Many physicians out there, however, are not happy when their patients consult Dr. Google to research troubling symptoms like mine. Continue reading “A second opinion from Dr. Google”