People who talk on the Internet about, for instance, why they feel you shouldn't get a flu shot, appear to think they know more than the vast majority of the medical community, and then when some of these people GET flu (basically, what they were asking for), you don't hear them admit they were mistaken, but perhaps the next year they quietly get a flu shot. My sister said that some people come into the hospital or a doctor's office and think they know more about medicine than the doctors do because they read something on the Internet. She said she'd commented to a colleague, 'Why don't we just not HAVE doctors? People could read on the Internet and treat themselves', and the colleague replied that occasionally such people try this, mess themselves up further, and THEN come to the doctor or hospital.
Reminds me of a story I mentioned before on this page: an American woman living in Germany years ago was admitted to s hospital there. Doctors were not explaining anything to her, so eventually she insisted on seeing a doctor and demanded he tell her what they were doing. Later, she was transferred to another wing of the hospital and discovered she was in the psychiatric ward on the very reasonable grounds that if she thought she knew more about medicine than the doctors did, she must be crazy.
One retired medical career friend said, ‘Some people cannot tolerate the flu shot, while others rarely get the flu. Due to a heart condition, catching the flu could turn into something severe for me.’ He adds, ‘ I worked in health care for three decades, twenty-one years as a RN. That does not make me an expert. There are some people that think that because they "know" someone that works in health care that they know more than anyone else. Occasionally nurses come across patients or their friends and family that come up with ridiculous ideas.’
I said to a professional teacher, ‘You and friends of yours would be familiar with these phenomena because of parents who come waltzing into parent-teacher conferences and think they know more about education than teachers do.’
Various people produce lists of leading causes of death. I've heard that abortion is the third-leading cause of death, whereas someone else said medical mistakes were the third-leading. I guess it depends who's counting. And all the capitalists who fume against socialized medicine and a national health service, claiming that the USA has the best medical care in the world, might not consider whether North European nations with socialized medicine (Scandinavia, Britain, Germanic nations) and advanced East Asian nations (eg Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore) have more or fewer medical errors than we do. Furthermore, when we feel that one doctor has made a mistake or is, for instance, trigger-happy about wanting to do unnecessary surgeries, we should confirm that not by our own pretense to medical expertise, but by seeking a second opinion. Joke on second opinions: good friend and dear relative James N Scissom repeated an old joke: a man goes to a doctor, doesn't like what the doctor tells him, says, 'I want a second opinion.' The doctor says, 'You're ugly, too.'
An expat American says, ‘It is like that in all subjects, it seems. I have lived in Asia for about nine years now. One person from back home asked me questions about where I am. When I told him, he said I was wrong because he read something else on the internet concerning this place. I wrote "But I LIVE here!" Later, he discovered I was right, he was wrong. What a surprise. I once wrote to someone "It is sweltering hot here today!", as the sweat poured off me. He replied "No it's not, the weather report on the internet shows it is not hot there". We have created a world of know-it-alls, and to think one knows more than a doctor is probably the worst case. Just like all the "street lawyers" the police have to deal with. For me, I respect those who have studied and earned their doctoral degree.’
And when I read all the comments by laymen who think their google search equals a doctor’s degree, it's nice to have people illustrate a point I've made. And now I must end this blog: I’m having troubles with my four-year-old computer today. Rather than try to fix it myself, I'm taking it to the computer shop.