Thursday, December 22, 2005

My doctor told me all my reports are normal

I offer a free second opinion to infertile couples on my website. I request them to fill in their medical details, so I can guide them as to their next course of action. Unfortunately, I find that lots of patients are completely clueless about their test results. The commonest excuse they give is - " My doctor told me they were all normal, but I don't know the actual values."

I feel there are two reasons for this sad state of affairs: 1. many doctors take a patronising attitude and believe that patients will not understand their results, so that just telling them they are " normal " is enough.
2. patients don't bother to ask for details.

This is not acceptable, and it's important that you know what your actual results are, for many reasons. Remember that the eye only sees what the mind knows, and even though your test results may fall in the normal range, they still need to be interpreted correctly, and your doctor may not be doing this. For example, patients with a common disorder called PCOD ( polycystic ovarian disease) will often be told that their blood tests for measuring their levels of FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone) and LH ( luteinising hormone) are "normal". However, even though their levels may be in the normal range, they are actually still abnormal when interpreted intelligently, because the ratio of LH to FSH is abnormal. However, because their doctor did not consider this diagnostic possibility, he did not make this diagnosis ! This ends up hurting the patient !

Patients often complain that doctors do not give them the results. The best way of preventing this problem is by making a request in writing. By law, your doctor has to give you a copy of your records, and there is no reason why he should not do so ! However, it's easy for the clinic to "overlook" verbal requests, which is why it's important to document this request in writing !

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dr, I am really gald I got a chance to stumbel on your blog.

    You are an IVF expert, so I am sure familiar with pregnancy.

    I am Cecilia, currently pregnannt 4 months, I have a blog through which I want to discouss my pregnancy experience. I would like you to visit it sometime. (Asking too much from a busy doc)The reason, your comments and suggestions will benefit my readers and me.

    Thank you,


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