Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Multiple Opinions in Medical Families


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

I ever there was a situation where you learn about relativity of truth, it’s when you’re the only non-medical doctor in a family of medical doctors.

My husband’s a doctor, both our late fathers were doctors, our moms are doctors, his sister’s a doctor, and i have an aunt and uncle who are doctors (all vastly different specialties). I’m the only non-medical doctor in my entire family (PhD not MD) but have been called Dr. Maha by default (by strangers or acquaintances) all my life, because, you know, how could I possibly not be a doctor, right?

So the crazy thing if you’re sick in this family are the following disagreements (i am not exaggerating, this all recently happened; keep in mind in Egypt the medical system is pretty messed up; no PCP /GP to refer u to others, u need to make decisions and go to private doctors unless you are really poor):

1. Do I need to go see a specialist? One person will think they can treat me. Another will think i need to visit a particular specialist (say chest physician) while another will think i need a different kind (say ear/nose specialist)

2. Which doctor do I visit? My mom will have a friend, my husband will have a friend, someone else will think another is more reputable

3. Will I take my daughter with me? Someone will say yes, don’t leave her, another will offer to come with me to help with her, and another will offer to stay home with her so she doesn’t get exposed to infections.

4. The doc will write meds. Someone will want to buy them immediately. Someone else will change a couple of the ones the doctor suggested coz they read somewhere that one of them has this awful side effect. Another person will suggest i wait and get these meds thru my univ medical insurance a few days later, another will insist i need them NOW.

yeah. And then…

5. As i start taking meds, one person will think i am improving, the other will think i am not, and suggest i call my doctor; another will suggest i visit the same doctor, and another will suggest i switch to a new doctor since this one isn’t helping. The extreme case is switching to another specialty of doctors.

End result of my recent string of doctor visits is visit ENT, chest, then a different chest physician, then revisit him, then back to another ENT doctor, then now the suggestion is to go to a GI specialist, because i am not improving much and there seems to be a consensus that my coughing/breathing issues are mainly related to a digestive problem combined with allergies.

Ok 🙂 I am not really complaining, but oh God, I hope I am never unconscious and these people (who care, i know) have to make medical decisions on my behalf!

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