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Teen Outsmarts Doctors In Science Class - Comments

Barack's Avatar Comment 1 by Barack

And the point of posting this article here is?

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 21:41:00 UTC | #370769

theinquisitor's Avatar Comment 2 by theinquisitor

It seems the very reason that this is a news story is the fact that self-diagnosis is almost always wrong. Thus achieving a popular misimpression that the rare is common and the common is rare. Isn't it odd that the NEWS often gives us an impression of reality that is exactly the opposite of the truth?

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:05:00 UTC | #370770

mmurray's Avatar Comment 3 by mmurray

Why is she starting nursing school not medical school ?

Michael

EDIT: In case this sounds like a criticism of nurses that wasn't the point. I'm just concerned that too many young women go into nursing because it is seen to be a female occupation whereas doctoring is seen to be a male one.

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:16:00 UTC | #370771

Ady's Avatar Comment 4 by Ady

Don't trust the heathen doctors! Take matters into your own hands, you'll be better off.

At least this is what this article implies.

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:20:00 UTC | #370772

Daniella's Avatar Comment 5 by Daniella

How did she get a sample of her own intestinal tissue?

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:21:00 UTC | #370774

mmurray's Avatar Comment 6 by mmurray

How did she get a sample of her own intestinal tissue?


Home colonoscopy kit. Don't you have one ?

They said the slides of her intestinal tissue were fine, but she knew that wasn't right.


I assume she kept the slides.

Michael

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:08:00 UTC | #370778

Disbelief's Avatar Comment 7 by Disbelief

Don't trust the heathen doctors! Take matters into your own hands, you'll be better off.


Fair play though, she did diagnose herself correctly.

I've got no problem with someone researching into their own condition and looking at the evidence to reach a conclusion however if she had said "god told me I had crohn's disease" or "jesus will heal me through prayer" then I would have a problem with it.

Why is she starting nursing school not medical school ?


I quite agree

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:20:00 UTC | #370780

neander's Avatar Comment 8 by neander

The point I took from this was that this is more likely a swipe at the US health system. She probably either didn't have the right insurance OR her insurer decided that diagnosis would mean expenses and it would be better to let the disease progress till death resulted. Less cost to the insurer.
What a great system.

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:27:00 UTC | #370781

halogenic's Avatar Comment 9 by halogenic

Well the catch phrase for the site is "A clear-thinking oasis" and it certainly looks like she did some clear thinking, in the face of previous misinformation.

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:33:00 UTC | #370782

sunbeamforjesus's Avatar Comment 10 by sunbeamforjesus

Sorry ,don't see the relevance for this site!

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:39:00 UTC | #370783

PJG's Avatar Comment 11 by PJG

Perhaps the relevance is that if we teach science, children may use it to seek answers to their problems. She wouldn't have found the answer if "Goddidit" was the given answer to every question, or if she'd been told she was sick because God was punishing her.

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:55:00 UTC | #370787

alabasterocean's Avatar Comment 12 by alabasterocean

Well, the point is that self diagnosis is just fine in the context that you report the findings to your doctor - and not self medication (or surgery). There is no harm in having an interest in your own physical problems - it's quite fun to read and learn about your diseases.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:38:00 UTC | #370789

memeweaver's Avatar Comment 13 by memeweaver

I lived in Washington state for 5 years and was experiencing some back pain. Doctors and spinal specialists there kept sending me for checkups for conditions like Crohn's ( I had barium meal X-rays and a full colonoscopy ). Finding nothing from that they turned to prescribing a cocktail of narcotic pain-killers (not dissimilar to what Heath Ledger was given) and injections into the spine.

At no point did they try to investigate muscular/skeletal issues. In the end I had to find and pay for a good manipulative physiotherapist. My health cover would pay for all the specialist idiots (and chiropractors) but not for the physiotherapy that actually addressed the problem.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:45:00 UTC | #370790

Tintern's Avatar Comment 14 by Tintern

The point of this article is that a young person studied science well and it proved beneficial. Well done and I agree, cart her off to medical school. She's not a poster child for dangerous self-diagnosis for crying out loud; she called her teacher and they sent the results to a doctor. If anything this is a glowing advertisment for keeping unscientific BS out of the science classroom. Surely that merits space on this site. I'm appalled to have to point this out.
Remember also she now has to manage this condition for the rest of her life, even though she's starting later than she needed to because of apathy on the part of her doctors.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 01:16:00 UTC | #370795

cpr.tahli's Avatar Comment 15 by cpr.tahli

why does the news have to be relevant? its interesting and thats all that matters.

i prefer reading stuff like this rather than articles that make fun of religious people.

to be honest i'm getting a bit sick of the biased anti-religion propaganda that keeps making its way onto this websites "news". yes, i know they're stupid and we're probably right, but that doesn't mean we have to act like such smug, elitist jerks. come on

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 01:50:00 UTC | #370799

Disbelief's Avatar Comment 16 by Disbelief

I suppose the relevance to this site could be that no matter how good your qualifications and experience, science is always based on evidence and this girl's story is an example of that.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:14:00 UTC | #370804

dstevens's Avatar Comment 17 by dstevens

The title 'Teen Outsmarts Doctors' is unfortunate. It suggests we shouldn't listen to people with proper training.

The real story, I think, would be why the doctors missed the diagnosis. I think you'd have to send her information to other doctors to see if the first doctors showed due diligence. If not, why not? The story says the slide went to 'a pathologist' who immediately confirmed Crohn's disease.

Perhaps, as has been said, economics or overworked doctors are the fault. But the article sounds like based on a short interview with the student, presented as a 'human interest' story.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:35:00 UTC | #370806

bachfiend's Avatar Comment 18 by bachfiend

I am bemused by this story too. I am a practising anatomical pathologist (for the past 20 years, and one of these days, I hope to get good at it). Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of the bowel characterised by fissuring ulceration, transmural inflammation (in all layers of the bowel) and granulomas. Two of the three features will make a PROVISIONAL diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Of the 3 features, I don't like seeing granulomas in a biopsy; if I do, I start thinking of other diseases, such as intestinal tuberculosis (which still does occur, even in Western developed countries). Once I have made the effort to exclude other causes, only then will I offer Crohn's disease as a diagnosis, but with the caveat that the clinical history and response to treatment has to be consistent. I have heard of patients dying with unrecognised infection after months of inappropriate immune suppressive treatment for supposed Crohn's disease.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:56:00 UTC | #370807

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 19 by Tyler Durden

Where's House when you need him?

:)

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:58:00 UTC | #370808

HughCaldwell's Avatar Comment 20 by HughCaldwell

too many young women go into nursing because it is seen to be a female occupation whereas doctoring is seen to be a male one. 3. Comment #388007 by mmurray on June 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm
----------------------------------------------

There are about as many women as men in US medical schools. In the UK more women qualify as doctors than men.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 03:07:00 UTC | #370809

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 21 by KRKBAB

I've been seeing a lot more female Doctors (young) here in the USA which is an obvious indication that more females are going onto the field! I'm 52 and I can't remember seeing many (any?) female doctors in the 60's.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 03:51:00 UTC | #370816

JonLynnHarvey's Avatar Comment 22 by JonLynnHarvey

There is a lot of culpability of insurance companies whose policies hamstring many doctors as to the question of just how thoroughly they can test a patient's symptoms. I was catastrophically ill nine years ago, and got misdiagnosed by two clinics. Finally, I was correctly diagnosed by a fellow in private practice who had been earlier fired from a top hospital for bucking insurance policies in his correct treatment of a child with a rare disease.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 03:52:00 UTC | #370817

John Desclin's Avatar Comment 23 by John Desclin

I also wanted to ask the same question as Daniella (5, #388010): how could she have taken a biopsy of her colon mucosa all by herself?
How could she process the tissue to make histological sections, stain them etc., all at home and by herself?
I suppose post 6 by mmurray (#388014) was a joke of his - but due to the fact that french is mother tongue (not english), I am not too sure about whether this was kidding or else...
As a retired histologist, I could not avoid wondering about this. How come nobody else seemed to be wondering?

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 03:56:00 UTC | #370818

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 24 by KRKBAB

We may have excellent medical universities in this country, but the medical system is horrific. Insurance companies essentially are steering doctor's decisions which is moronic and dangerous. It doesn't help that people have been brainwashed into thinking that universal health care is bad. Universal health care is bad- faith is a virtue- taxes and the government are satanic. That's the standard ideology in the USA.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 03:59:00 UTC | #370819

SixxSixxSixx's Avatar Comment 25 by SixxSixxSixx

The point of this article is that a young person studied science well and it proved beneficial. Well done and I agree, cart her off to medical school. She's not a poster child for dangerous self-diagnosis for crying out loud; she called her teacher and they sent the results to a doctor.

Here here. An interesting and positive article I thought. I agree that it's a little out of place and there are certainly some gaps in information that need filling but surely it's promoting science edcucation?

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:13:00 UTC | #370821

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 27 by phasmagigas

i saw this article prior to posting here and quickly skimmed and disregarded it.

when you consider the total possibilities of a patient/doctor(s) interaction this is bound to happen to somebody, somewhere.

king of NH, i agree with what you are saying (388060) its a shame that articles like this couldnt also be applied to religious assertions (aka 'truths') eg young catholic student examines eucharist cracker and doesnt find any evidence of human proteins.

the story seeems to be damning of the the old boy docs, whereas it could be used to demonstrate how science does work, im sure the docs who made the wrong diagnosis arent stamping their feet and saying 'what I said is true' they are likely happy to know they were wrong, well, they i assume they are happy as they will have learned something themselves and made a further step towards being a better doc.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:15:00 UTC | #370823

King of NH's Avatar Comment 26 by King of NH

I think this is a great idea with a bad presentation. The moral of the story isn't 'doctors is dumb' but rather 'never confuse authority with truth: question.'

She refused to accept her condition the way it was presented, so she questioned the evidence. When she came to her own conclusion, she also questioned that and asked others to repeat her observations. She was passionately scientific in her quest (though the passion unfortuantely came from some fear).

We should all demand evidence and explanations from our doctors. A good doctor should be happy to provide the explanation, and an excellent doctor should bore you with the life cycle of clostridium difficile and its altruistic self sacrifice with the same excitement as a child telling you about the latest Transformers movie; just more coherent.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:15:00 UTC | #370822

mmurray's Avatar Comment 28 by mmurray

23. Comment #388056 by John Desclin on June 16, 2009 at 4:56 am
I also wanted to ask the same question as Daniella (5, #388010): how could she have taken a biopsy of her colon mucosa all by herself?
How could she process the tissue to make histological sections, stain them etc., all at home and by herself?
I suppose post 6 by mmurray (#388014) was a joke of his - but due to the fact that french is mother tongue (not english), I am not too sure about whether this was kidding or else...
As a retired histologist, I could not avoid wondering about this. How come nobody else seemed to be wondering?



Hi John

Sorry - the home colonoscopy kit comment was a joke. In the article it says

For years she went from doctor to doctor complaining of vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and stomach pains. They said she had irritable bowel syndrome. They said she had colitis. They said the slides of her intestinal tissue were fine, but she knew that wasn't right.


so the doctors had slides of her intestinal tissue. My guess would be she kept some of the slides but I don't know how possible or likely that is in the context of US medicine. Maybe if she was a kid showing an interest in medicine they might let her keep some slides to look at? Is that likely ?

Michael

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:17:00 UTC | #370825

cassiek's Avatar Comment 29 by cassiek

About fourteen years ago, my younger brother was very ill for almost three years with the same symptoms as this girl. He was in his late 20's, self-employed, and uninsured. The doctors he went to did not even bother testing him, just gave him pain killers and anti-diarrheals and sent him home. He finally collapsed at my parents' home on Christmas and my step-father took him to the hospital and basically intimidated the doctors into testing him. He had Crohn's, and as it turns out, was about two or three days away from death due to malnutrition and dehydration. He's okay now, but has had a horrific struggle to get there because of the lack of diagnosis and treatment for several years. So universal health care? If it prevents one person from going through what my brother had to endure then bring it on.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:21:00 UTC | #370826

latsot's Avatar Comment 30 by latsot

"The title 'Teen Outsmarts Doctors' is unfortunate. It suggests we shouldn't listen to people with proper training."

No, it suggests that a teen outsmarted some doctors.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 04:34:00 UTC | #370829