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Losing faith in doctors

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,208
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So I just found out today that my doctor, who was conviced my neck pain was "no big deal" never even looked at my MRI!! I called her to get the MRI films for an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon next week. Her nurse called me back to tell me I have to get the films from the place I had the MRI done because my doctor never got the actual MRI, she only got the "findings" from the technician at the facility I got the test done at. I feel like someone who went through a 12 month certificate program at a community college diagnosed me!!
My only saving grace is that the ortho wants them in my hand when I walk into his office next week.
Is that common for doctors to never see the actual films from these kind of tests?? Seriously, I have been suffering with this pain for 3 years and this was my second opinion doctor...my first doctor sent me for an x-ray and never looked at it either, he just read that my disc space was good...but my physical therapist said that you can't tell much from x-rays. That is why I left my first doctor, I thought he was being very complaicant with how he handled my x-ray.
I want to be a doctor if all I have to do is regurgitate what someone else says is a diagnosis.


  • I was misdiagnosed with degeneration of the hip joint because my doctor never saw the xrays, just went by the report that was sent.

    Thankfully that misdiagnosis got me to an orthopedic surgeon, who ordered an MRI. But, he never actually looked at the MRI (never bothered to get the actual films), just went by the report. Thankfully, he specializes in hand surgery (don't know why I got stuck with him if he doesn't do anything with hips or back) so he had to refer me to a neurosurgeon when we ran out of conservative options.

    Now, my neurosurgeon is the best doctor in the world. He not only got the MRI films and previous xrays, he also ordered new xrays because he didn't like the quality of the originals. He sat down with me in his office and showed me all my MRI films and xrays and went through the radiologist reports and told me what he was concerned about and what wasn't an issue and why.

    He performed a beautiful surgery, and when I was still in pain ordered another MRI, and even though that didn't show any problems he had it re-done in a different way so he could be absolutely sure that there was nothing in there that he missed.

    I'm still in pain (angry nerve), and instead of shipping me off to a pain mgmt or other kind of doctor, he is doing everything he can to help me. I called the office yesterday just to ask if there was anything else (besides rest and anti-inflammatory drugs) that I could do to alleviate the pain, and he had them fit me in to his schedule first thing this morning. And they classified it as a post op visit so I didn't even have to pay a co-pay!

    I'm rambling, and I apologize, but I've seen a lot of crappy doctors over the years, and it is so extraordinary to actually find a doctor who cares about his patients this much.

    My point is, shop around. Fabulous doctors are out there, you just have to find them. Don't settle for someone who doesn't listen, or doesn't care, or is too busy to answer your questions and do their job. Maybe your ortho will be fabulous, if not, move on. It will be worth it in the end, once you have a competent doctor who will care enough to do what is right for you, instead of doing what is easy.

    Good luck, I hope you get some real help soon.
  • My neuro brought my MRI's into the exam room, and we looked at them together too, just like jeq. Lots of times a neuro will see something a radiologist or technician misses. Taranga, don't lose faith in doctors, just find a new one immediatley! If you are having pain in arms and hands, tingling, etc. I would suggest a neuro rather than an ortho. When dealing with neck issues, the nerves and spinal cord is so close to the discs that a neuro-surgeon would know more about these issues than an ortho. of course this is just MY opinion. But you are doing the right thing by researching your doctors. If you know any nurses, or maybe your PCP, as them who they would send their family members to see. Sometimes nurses are the best resources. Good luck, and I hope you find a great doc soon, so that you can find out the cause of your pain, and get it fixed.

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  • I have to agree. I had a terrible surgeon for my first ACDF who actually made my condition worse rather than better. The good news is that I now have a fabulous team of doctors and surgeons who work together to treat me and who really care about my health and pain.

    If you aren't comfortable with the surgeon find another one, even if you have to travel to do so. Both of my surgeons are a 6 hour round trip for me and worth every agonizing mile. This is the only spine you get and you deserve the best care for it that you can get- don't EVER settle for less!

  • Have to agree with ya griff, if you are not comfortable with your doctors, there is no sense in waisting everyone's time. I have been very luck with all my doctors through the last year and a half. If you are not happy with the way your being treated, get another opinion. I know I would.

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