Your take on the generally unscientific practice of medical diagnosis.

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by squishysponge, Mar 4, 2006.

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  1. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    Doctors are the frontline force against diseases. They get their hands dirty. They are the soldiers in the war for better health.

    However the practice of medical diagnosis is very often, in my very humble and frankly honest opinion, to be one that is highly speculative, very unsciencelike and plagued by a lot of speculation, guesswork, mistakes and ignorance.

    Regardless though, doctors and their diagnosis, are still required in the daily function of society.

    What gets me going, is that doctors gain more praise from the public over actual scientists and medical reseachers - whom are the ones who do the real work and deals with the actual sciences. In fact the field of medical research are often viewed as evil big pharamacueticals out to sell you expensive medicination for big bucks, when really, medicial researchers/pharmacueticals are the ones responsible for all the medication that leads to the cure of many diseases. Not to mention, the average medical researcher is much more intelligent than the average practicing doctor, and especially so in their understanding of the sciences of medicine/immunology/physiology/etc and all branches of sciences.

    What do you think about the general practice of diagnosis by doctors?
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  3. Communist Hamster Cricetulus griseus leninus Valued Senior Member

    It can be hard to do. There are symptoms which could mean anything. For example, a chest pain could mean a simple upset tummy, or it could be the onset of Solanum
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  5. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    Exactly. Twitching is a symptom that can be as benign as extreme fatigue from lack of good sleep, as it is possible that you have some sort of neurological problem(cancer, etc). Irregular sudden onset of diarrhea may be signs of acute hiv infection as it is likely you have stomach flu.

    The point is, generally medical diagnosis is extremely shallow and very unscientific. They base their diagnosis on their symptoms and their guess on what is most likely to be the cause, and very rarely obtain any sort of actual proof (such as blood test, visual examination (colonoscopy for gastrointestinal, x-rays, etc), etc).
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  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    The public holds doctors in high regard because they deal with them in real life. They go to the doctor with a problem, and he fixes it. The high esteem doctors enjoy also often aids in the cure. You tell a patient, "Take this four times a day for ten days and you'll be fine". Say it with authority, and he'll get better most of the time from the placebo effect alone.
    It's not just a guess, it's an educated guess. You gather what data you can and consider it in the context of the demographics and the history. Lab work is often not worth obtaining as by the time the results come in, the patient is cured. If the condition is chronic or life threatening, lab work can be helpful.
  8. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    You probably have no idea how much doctors get away with miss or wrong diagnosis of problems and diseases. The prognosis of a lot of diseases gets worse and even diminishes with the longer the diagnosis. That is excluding the effect of wrong diagnosis which can have even greater negative impact. For example, its very convinent for doctors to diagnose everything as the 'flu' when the underlying causes were not determined based on a factual scientific proof. In fact due to the ignorance and unprofessionalism of some doctors, wrong medication is often prescribed, or wrong diagnosis (or no diagnosis) is made.

    The medical profession is one of the only professional 'scientific' professions that can regularly get away with the lack of primary scientific evidences in their line of work to support their claims. Scientists didnt use guess work to obtain proof of viruses, they obtain proof by using lab techniques (succrose gradient isolation and electron micrograph) at isolating the viruses. Engineers dont design devices based on guessing material properties of the materials (Young's Modulus, ultimate tensile strength, etc), they obtain the values through emperical testing and then through final testing of the prototype to obtain the properties of their device. Medical diagnosis very often is merely a physicians assumption of the causes with rarely any tests done, unless either explicitly asked by the patient or when the evidence is overwhelming. A lot of times however patients are uninformed or unknowledgable on medical knowledge and with this, fails to request and act upon their full right at a better health. It is the job of physicians, the ensure that any patient who leaves their sight, that the most was done to ensure that they should be able to get better.

    Even regardless of the fact that a lot of tests for correct diagnosis are unavailable (or unattainable due to cost or availability etc) for all the known diseases, it still doesnt exclude their profession and them, from the fact that their work evolves around speculation and guesswork.
  9. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

    maybe if the government invested in medical care more than weapons and war they would get further, and be able to treat and test people more accuratly,

    more money on life less on death maybe thats a good start funding.

  10. CANGAS Registered Senior Member

    Present day medical care delivery is a terrible shame, even in the best of nations.
  11. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

    yes it is, because the money goes elsewhere, *cough cough*

  12. john smith Tongue in cheek Registered Senior Member

    Thats quite an arogant statement to make chi, and an ignorant one at that. Although i can see your approach, i believe it is a futile one.

    Would you be one to complain if, infact we stopped developing MOD technology, and were attacked by a powerful country, we would be completly unable to repel any such attack. Also if your family were killed in a terrorist attack, the way to strike back and stop such 'acts' is with a military force, nothing else will stop 'them'.

    You are saying, with relativly little foresight how bad it is on spending money on "weapons and war", however the british army has many hundreds of peace keeping duties all over the world, to do this they NEED weapons.

    I agree with you in principle, but not in circumstance.

    Besides, in practically every other post you've made its all about violence and fighting (something which i have no problem with), however it seems quite a contradiction to be suddenly against it all. I know theres a difference between your 'self defence' tactics, to govermental warfare, but in the end they are both forms of 'defence', something which someone such as yourself should be able to see.

    BTW, i do not agree with the war on Iraq, and i am not insinuating that war is the correct approach to take.I merely believe that it is neccassary for the goverment to spend money on 'defence' or military technology.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2006
  13. Jocce Registered Member

    Seems like you are making a lot of categoric statements. Maybe you should reveal what factual basis you have for your assertions?

    Again, a lot of opinion but not much facts. Maybe one idea would be to qualify your opinions with respect to a certain country since the practices vary quite a lot depending on where in the world you happen to be located.

    Aren't those lab techniques used in clinical practice once discovered then? At least here in Sweden they are.

    Compare apples with apples please. Doctors don't design stuff, they fix what's broken. A better comparison in my opinion would be a mechanic.

    Is there any special point you would like to make by repeatedly bashing a whole profession? Any suggestions to make the situation better?

    And before you, I am not a doctor.
  14. LeeDa Danger! Read with caution. Registered Senior Member

    I reckon get more people involved in the medical profession. It's the frontline. Probably the most important frontline of all. Everyone whos stupid like me and not a doctor and even if your not stupid needs to be given things that can be practiced to make gains in medicine and the ultimate goal of eliminating death. Were primitive. Get everyone and as many people involved as possible. There is alot more that average people can do which isn't being done. There are millions of people who could be doing stuff helping who aren't. Suffering is serious. Average people need to be given a means to make a stand against death and illness as well. Hell suffering is serious, we havent grasped the reality of it yet otherwise it would be gone so fast or the effort would be so much greater than it currently is. Suffering is so serious.
  15. duendy Registered Senior Member

    i am aware tat medical intervention is usually very necessary, butthat...more andmore pople now are under its huge powerful yoke!

    what really really upsets me is its emphasis--ie big pharma-medicine on animal 'testing' to sanction releaseof its medicines, which are proliferating all the time.
    So all this is truly wrong. when animals are used and abused in tis way it is wrong.

    also the utter relianceon medical science and the crushing of other alternative ways of healing

    and remember...'health' doesn't in its real meaning only mean the body, but the body in relation to environment and community

    medical science has grown from a mechanistic philosophy which sees us as bascially machines. thus much of the 'care' is along those lines
  16. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned


    Well (speaking as practice manager in NHS for number of yrs) I have the following comments

    GP's have no PHD and could not call themselves Doctors anywhere else in the world, but here in the UK.
    So yes, even a pharmaceutical rep with a PHD is more qualifed than your GP.

    What I could tell u about Gp's u don't want to know. lets just say the docu soaps aren't nearly as interesting as the real deal, and the real deal is far more scandleous.
  17. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    You are either unfamiliar with the practice of medicine, or you lack perception to understand what was said. There arnt much 'proof' of statements like this, because there are no studies to pinpoint all medical malpractices ever made because malpractices may go unnoticed, ignored, relatively small (non life threatening) or unrecognized. Simply understanding the process of medical diagnosis, and you will understand.

    It is becomming very obvious to me you dont have any idea what you are talking about. It seems to me your agenda is to be against mine, or just to defend doctors in general. A lot diseases gets worse with time without treatment or wrong treatment. What more is there to say? There are tonnes and it would be a waste of my time to try to mention them to you as proof because frankly i find that very basic knowledge. (hint cancer hint lupus hint hiv etc)

    No those methods (sucrose gradient isolation + electron micrograph) are not employed in medical practice because they are impractical and expensive. They are also extremely hard to do and require an extreme amount of preperation etc. They are used for and by the science community, not the medical practice community. Diagnostic tests for viruses and such are usually based on serum antibody testing or through PCR tests (searching for viral dna).

    My posts were merely indicating a problem, which I feel should be changed for the better of mankind. Im not here to try to bash doctors, even though it pisses me off that I find some to be fairly incompetant.
  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Think about how science works. You make observations, develop a theory (an educated guess), and then test that theory with experiments that include a control group. This process often includes speculation, guesswork, mistakes and (by definition) ignorance, but that's we learn.

    So, how does a doctor diagnose one patient in a "sciencelike" manner?
  19. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    Yes, except actual data is collected through actual testing to backup those hypothesis (decison) in science. In medical practice, their diagnosis (decision) on a patients health is generally based solely on what the patient says, and what the doctor was able to observe. A lot of times patients either not say everything that is relavent to aid in correct diagnosis (because they prob think some symptoms are unrelated and fails to mention them, etc) or the doctor fails to recognize the problems the patient is experienceing. Basically a lot of scenarios. What results in incorrect diagnosis. Very rarely do doctors take the initiative to offer actual lab work to test diseases unless asked by the patient or when there is evidence to make the docor believe tests should be done. This means their work evolves more around guesswork than does science.

    A more science like approach of medical diagnosis, would be to offer testing for everything. That doesnt happen because its either expensive, unavailable, unattainable or very very often just because the doctor feels it is unneccesary.
  20. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    What the patient says, and what the doctor observes is data.

    You seem to advocate extensive, expensive, and often unnecessary testing on everything for everyone. It's the doctor's job to reduce this so that the health care system, which is already stressed, doesn't break down completely.

    How do you know the test results would be interpreted correctly? This could lead to unnecessary and perhaps damaging treatment regimes. Testing isn't a cure all, many methods of testing have their own side effects.

    Above all, I wouldn't call this approach any more scientific than what doctors already do.
  21. Jocce Registered Member

    So basically I should stay out of this discussion because you don't think I am on par with your expertise?

    I have another opinion than you, that's all. Am I wrong because I know too little about the subject? How can you deduce that from one single post?

    I agree, sometimes doctors make mistakes. In my experience, not as often as you seem to experience.

    They use the right tool for the job when it's necessary, even gradient separation.

    I doubt that the optimal solution would be to take more tests.
  22. squishysponge Registered Senior Member

    Fuck I lost everything with the back button. anyways.

    Observations and opinions are not accurate or acceptable scientific evidence. Good science is backed up by scientific statiscial data.

    Diagnostic tests are only expensive due to supply and demand. Given that a decade or 2 ago, testing was unavailable/more expensive/less accurate and that it is now, does it mean that tests now are unneccesary and impractical now? No because science and our practices move on and improve. It is time to improve the medical system with correct, actual testing instead of just guesswork.

    If the tests are interpreted wrong then the physician is imcompetant. Do you even know what you are talking about there? Tell me, how given correct tests results and a competant doctor, will testing lead to damaging treatment regimine? If they have the disease and correctly diagnosed, then treatement has to be given.

    No, testing is no cure. But a lot of diagnostic tests are simple blood tests whose advantage of a clearer diagnosis outweights the negative impact (of losing a little blood).

    Diagnosis with evidence from testing versus diagnosis based on opinion. Which is more scientific? You wouldnt call what approach more scientific than the toher? wow. Ill let you decide that one for yourself.


    Situation: patient sees physician for blood found in stool.

    Without testing: Doctor asks patient about history of previous events. Asks about the current diet. Asks about bowel movement the past few days. Conclude it is stomach flu or hemmeroids. May choose to prescribe nothing, or may prescribe antispasmodics.

    With testing: doctor does the same thing except holds diagnosis back untill furthur evidence is aquired. Offers colonoscopy and blood tests to rule out life threatening conditions such as colorectal cancer or crohn's disease. Results come back and then makes final diagnosis.

    Conclusion: Testing is better. As simple as that.
  23. Jocce Registered Member

    Of course, if you life in fantasy land where such mundane things as time and cost doesn't matter.
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