What’s wrong with Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors?
Yes, I do know there are a lot of great doctors. There’s “my good GP” as I always say. We have a fantastic nurse practitioner pediatrician. And a few others we know. You better believe I was thrilled to find my good Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor finally.
Are Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors different? It seems like they‘ve been trained to listen in a different way. Maybe it’s the invisible nature of the disease?
A blog from a Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor
I’d like you to read what one Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor has to say about part of his internship.** He shows us the way that a philosophy of medicine can be passed down through the process of internship. When a reader sent me this recently, I cried.
An excerpt: “‘Let me warn you before we go into the next room,’ the physician whispered, ‘this woman is crazy!’
I stood in the hallway of the rheumatology clinic with a well-respected physician and was intrigued by his comment. As a third-year medical student, I was excited to have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with this specialist. We were about to see a patient with severe rheumatoid arthritis. She was the last patient of the day, and I had already learned much from this physician…” (Click here to read more.)
There have been several moments like that over the last year – moments where I think I’m beginning to understand some things about this RA puzzle that I really don’t like. The day I began to learn about Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors’ and researchers’ perceptions about our pain threshold was a hard day. Then there was that article from the 1960’s that called us a burden on society and said Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors blamed our personality in part for our disease. The Arthritis Foundation’s presentation of Rheumatoid Arthritis and hypochondriasis was not much better.
I’ll confess that on each of those occasions, I cried. I cried because it began to dawn on me what is behind the RA mantra “No one gets it.” I cried because no one but other rheumatoid patients do get it and I can’t see how or why anyone would look for a cure for something that’s our own fault or just overblown. I cried because it seems impossible for researchers to find a cure for something that they don’t understand. Mostly, I cried for all of the patients all over the world who feel misunderstood because their symptoms are invisible or who feel like they are the only one.
A good Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor
Of course there are good doctors like the one who wrote the article I’m linking to here. And what about the Rheumatoid Arthritis doctors who do the good research on patient-reported outcome measures? We can have more hope because of Dr. Basch who is trying to get the medical profession to recognize the value of patient accounts of symptoms and side effects. There is a long list of good doctors doing good work. I hope they are able to pass down what they learn the same way the jerk Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor in the story tried to pass down his poisonous philosophy.
**If you have any problem with that website, type “AAFP Resident and Student Voice Deep Waters” in your browser search bar & click on the top result. Click skip ad. Then their page opens.
Don’t miss my letter of reply to Dr. Conley: Response to a Blog Written by a Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctor.