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Comment: Physician perspective (Score 3, Interesting) 659

I'm a doctor in the US, and I'm stepping into the line of fire here as there is some serious doctor hate going on in this thread, but here goes...
First of all (in the US at least) most of these arguments are moot because patients by law have the right to their medical record. So, regardless of what your doctor thinks, by federal law you have the right to request and get access to your medical record.

In regards to the attitudes about IF patients should have this access I would be willing to bet that older physicians would be more against it than younger physicians. Doctors above a certain age tend to be more paternalistic towards patients than younger doctors.
My personal opinion is that any individual should be able to obtain access to their own medical notes.

However, most people are not familiar with the diagnostic process and jargon used in medical records. This could definitely lead to misinterpretation or confusion by a patient or the feeling that information was withheld when that is not the case at all. For instance I may write in a chart "left lung cavitary mass - malignancy vs TB vs fungal infection" indicating that I'm not yet sure what it is and more workup is needed. Do I tell the patient every possible differential diagnosis? No, because that tends to freak patients out, I say "I don't know what it is yet, we need to do some more tests."

If the patient read my note without understanding how to interpret it they may feel that information was withheld or the doctor has no clue what's going on.
I think that is more what is behind the results of this survey than doctors "covering their ass", because if a patient wants to sue they will sue, and every single piece of information about that patient will be subpoenaed and scrutinized by lawyers. You cover your ass by putting complete and accurate information into the medical record, and not trying to cover up mistakes if they happen.
Personally I would not care if any of my patients read their chart. I will even show it to them "See, last time I wrote that this was going on, is that still a problem?"

Comment: who cares (Score 1) 481

by Misanthropy (#39422309) Attached to: Michael Bay To Remake TMNT As Aliens

Man, people really get worked up over shitty cartoons from their childhood created to sell toys.
Did I watch some ninja turtles as a kid? Yes
Was it good? Not particularly
Do I care the least bit that Michael Bay is going to turn it into a CGI shitfest? Not really

Bay sucks. His movies suck. But I don't really care what he does with ninja turtles

Comment: Re:Because it's Silverlight... (Score 1) 169

by Misanthropy (#35902676) Attached to: Microsoft Celebrates Feynman 50-year Anniversary

These should absolutely be in the public domain. It drives me crazy when companies claim rights to something that they had no part in creating or any real connection to. These should be archived at the Library of Congress and freely available to anyone to use and learn from.

Also, Feynman rules!

Comment: Re:patients are just customers (Score 1) 467

by Misanthropy (#27458391) Attached to: Believing In Medical Treatments That Don't Work

This is right on. So many patients if you don't prescribe antibiotics will get pissed and say the doc "didn't do anything." Nevermind the 15 minutes you spent with them taking history, examining them and explaining that they most likely had a virus that antibiotics will not help and that giving them antibiotics may even cause them problems in the long run. Nope, if they don't get a scrip you are worthless in their minds.
Regardless, I rarely prescribe antibiotics for sinutitis, bronchitis, etc. Because like the article says these are usually viral, and over prescribing antibiotics is a Bad Thing(TM). Sometimes it ends up being something that needs antibiotics and I'll treat it appropriately, but the vast majority resolve on their own.

I had a nice discussion with a lady last week that had completed her course of abx for pneumonia and she was feeling better, but she really wanted a antibiotic scrip bad "just in case." She was literally begging me to give her more antibiotics. I tried as best as I could to explain that she didn't need any more, and ultimately refused to give her a scrip. I don't think she was happy about it, but that is just the kind of stuff docs have to put up with regulary and unfortunately too many relent and just do what the patient wants.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva