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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Article - So That's Why Doctors Don't Use Email

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Author Topic: Article - So That's Why Doctors Don't Use Email
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Here's the link to the article, where you can leave comments...

Here's the link to the paper...

September 26, 2008,

1:50 pm

So That's Why Doctors Don't Use E-Mail

By Stephen J. Dubner

I've known several doctors who refused to read e-mail from patients.

They said it was simply a bad use of their time.

I also used to have a doctor who hated it whenever you came in and asked questions about some article you'd read in The Times about Lyme disease or some such.

He'd get a pained look on his face -- here we go again; patients pretending to be doctors -- and then ignore the question.

But surely it's in everyone's best interest for patients to stay informed, right?

For patients to do their own research, to ask lots of questions -- especially of their own doctors -- and so forth, right?



At least that's what Hai Fang, Nolan H. Miller, John A. Rizzo, and Richard J. Zeckhauser write in a new working paper called ``Demanding Customers: Consumerist Patients and Quality of Care.''

From the abstract:

Consumerism arises when patients acquire and use medical information from sources apart from their physicians, such as the Internet and direct-to-patient advertising.

Consumerism has been hailed as a means of improving quality.

This need not be the result.

Consumerist patients place additional demands on their doctors' time, thus imposing a negative externality on other patients. ...

Data from a large national survey of physicians shows that high levels of consumerism are associated with lower perceived quality.

Love, Light, & Health,

My Lyme dx:11/05. My Mom's Lyme dx:5/16. ISO ASAP-Lyme Literate Dr & Neurologist-Prefer IL, IN, KY, MO, OH, TN. Can travel farther. Finances limited. Prefer Drs take Medicare or Payments. Need great list to find best fit. Tyvm.

Posts: 701 | From Owensboro, KY | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I will not see a doctor who does not answer my questions. I've had some very nasty encounters with doctors who refused to allow me to ask questions.

My husband, brother and I literally saved my fathers life more than once because we dared to question the doctor.

Of course it would be much easier for them to have patients who didn't question anything and who did exactly as they were told.

The time when doctors are put on a pedestal and treated as if they know best is over as far as I'm concerned.

No one deserves that kind of power over another person, especially such power over something as personal and precious as our own body.

Posts: 6286 | From Oregon | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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One more sicko who should be vaporized.
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Screw them, knowledge is power. A doctor and a patient should work together. No amount of training or experience can allow the doctor to know what the patient feels or is thinking at every step. A doctor/patient "relationship" is not a one way monologue.

My surgeon and I talked constantly about ideas to fix a problem that was not commonly encountered. I came up with a number of ideas which he thought were fantastic, and he came with an idea that complimented it, and surgically we solved a problem that I'd had for over 10 years. It required three surgeries.

I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

Posts: 4157 | From Western Massachusetts | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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The way I see it, my doctor has a lot of patients to deal with. Lyme patients, which means each comes with a billion crazy symptoms to address.

So he can't possibly have the kind of time I have to devote to researching my own, personal, crazy symptoms. It's impossible for him to spend hours a day thinking about me.

And all of my researching saves him time at my appointments. When he asks if I have any questions, I have a short list of things I've already read some basics on. When your symptoms list is 2 pages long, single spaced, you've got to help your doctor out a bit.

Posts: 306 | From Brownsville, PA | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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A good doctor is respectful and not degrading.

A good doctor will respect a knowwledgable mind if he/she is given respect for knowlege and time.

A good doctor should be willing to explain.

There are some good doctors. There are many who need firing. We are not 37th in the world in healthcare for no reason.


Posts: 234 | From Sterling, Ma | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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