A collaborative, respectful partnership between patients and doctors is mutually beneficial. Knowing doctors do not have time to read every research article relevant to their specialty nor do they have the time to ponder the subtle presentations of each case, I take responsiblity for knowing my own case well, along with various risk factors.
In one instance, a diagnosis had been overlooked relating to my central line. Severe back pain was assumed to be the result of an injury. What I discovered as a likely differential diagnosis was discitis/osteomyelitis due to a poorly done (non) sterile dressing change of my PICC line. Turned out to be a coagulase negative staph infection, revealed on an MRI which I requested.
My doctor, who is a phenomenal partner to me and champion of mine, asked how I had come to this possible differential. Grinning, I said, "well, unlike you, I only have one patient and I'm pretty fond of her so I took the time to ponder other explanations for the back pain."
One week later, another patient presented with similar symptoms. An MRI was done immediatley with a similar result. Saved the other patient's life, preventing possible paralysis. Got a "thank you" note from my doctor.
There is a revolution in the EVOLUTION of the doctor/patient relationship. Collaboration between doctors and patients protects EVERYONE and builds trust.
Competing interests: No competing interests