Doctors know that if we don’t give our patients a diagnostic label to show friends and family they are liable to storm out of the consulting room like spoilt toddlers who didn’t get a goodie bag at the end of the party.Read the rest of the article here.
Besides, patients given a definite diagnosis tend to make better progress than those who are simply told: “It’s probably a virus.” I play my part in this charade by making an educated guess as to what particular virus might be the root cause of whatever symptom they’ve just presented: “And those blisters on your sore throat suggest that you’ve picked up the Coxsackie A strain.”
Pause while patient feigns a working knowledge of virology and contemplates the implications of the diagnosis. “Coxsackie A you reckon?” “Could be worse. As you probably know, Coxsackie B is a bastard.
Got off lightly there.” “Yeah, right. Thanks anyway, Doc.” Game over.
Before the world wide web intruded doctors could offer vague diagnoses such as spastic colon, night starvation and fibrositis, and get away with it. The arrival of Google, Wikipedia and broadband demanded a new lexicon of woolly, all-purpose, one-size-fits-all medical terminology...
And another good one:
You know those depressing moments at parties when the gaze of the person you’re talking to wanders as he or she scans for more rewarding company? You don’t? Oh. Maybe that’s because you don’t share my passion for narrow-gauge railways. Whatever. The point is that this syndrome of rudely wavering attention also happens in the doctor-patient interaction: you do it to us, and you ought to be ashamed....Read the article here.