Thursday, February 03, 2005

Why do different doctors have different opinions ?

Many patients get very confused when they get a second opinion which differs from the first, and often don't understand how two different doctors can have such widely varying viewpoints. Remember that medicine is an inexact science, and there are often many ways of skinning a cat, all of which may be equally effective ( and painful !)
Often, differences exist when medical science is not certain about the best way of dealing with a certain problem. The latest buzzword to try to promote consistency amongst doctors is EBM, or evidence-based medicine, but it's a fact that applying theoretical knowledge in clinical practise is still an art, and cookbook protocols laid down by HMOs still leave a lot to be desired.
Often, a doctor's personal philosophy will decide what option he prefers. For example, I am very conservative, while others are quite happy to jump on to the latest bandwagon currently in fashion. These are both valid choices, but you need to be sure that your doctor's philosophy and yours are similar ! I believe that every patient gets the doctor they deserve ( and this is equally true the other way round as well !)

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