One of the workshops I teach is called Diagnosis Detective, and I’ll be teaching it again tonite.
The concept is based on the need for patients to use the information provided to them by their doctors to do research on their own to either support, or refute, their diagnosis and treatment options as provided by their doctors.
A case in point: the woman who wrote to me last week about her situation. “Failure to diagnose” is what the medical world calls it. She has spent ten years trying to get the right answers after ten years of misdiagnosis or missed-diagnoses.
Another case in point: the patient whose condition or disease isn’t being managed well; meaning, that patient needs to understand the alternatives. It includes the idea of differential diagnosis — the process of clarifying the diagnosis, in effect, by eliminating the other possibilities.
Since it’s up to patients to take responsibility for their own medical decision-making, then patients need to inform themselves to the max to learn enough to be able to make those decisions. Included should be things like making sure they actually have what they are being told they have — or — making sure the list of possible treatment options provided by their doctor is complete, so they know what they have to choose from.
Last time I taught this workshop, it was very crowded. Does my heart good. These are patients who really get it! Now they just need the tools to make it happen.