T Nation

50% of Physicians Giving Out Placebos?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27342269

What. The. Fuck.

Serially?

I’ve had a lot of doctors say shit like, “Yeah, it’s mostly in your/our heads” re: an ailment. I always took this as the generic, customer-service-response similar to what IT folk say when they want to get a pesky customer off the phone: “Yeah, send us a request for that feature by email and we’ll push it to development.”

Riiiiight…

I wonder if doctors can be sued for this?

So?

Sounds good to me. There are a lot of hypochondriacs out there.

I think it is a great idea to give out placebos rather than antibiotics to people who are obviously suffering from viruses. Antibiotics do nothing for viruses. Over-using antibiotics makes bacteria more resistant and the antibiotics less effective. But stupid people still get colds and to the doctor expecting a cure.

Serially. Fuck those stupid people. Give them a placebo.

Gabby,

I agree with you on taking care of hypochondriacs in this manner, but what percentage of these cases affect people who legitimately need medication and are given a placebo (unknowingly) as a consolation ?

If a placebo is known to be effective in many cases and the condition isn’t life-threatening…I don’t see the problem. If it’s all or partly in the patient’s head, he’ll improve. If not, he can always go back and say, “Listen doc, it didn’t work. You got anything else?” Seems like a great alternative to just medicating everyone.

Should just start prescribing Flameout and Coconut oil. Hell with a placebo, give them something that’ll work.

Hey… I’ve had firsthand experience with Dr.'s thinking I was a hypochondriac…

I think sometimes, they should take a little more time to listen to the patient. I had to see the Dr.'s at a local hospital 3 times before I got treatment. First time was I could feel my heart beat(pounding, insane feeling, and I was 25). I was told it was nerves, with basically no tests being done. Went back 2 days later, same thing. Then, 2 days after the 2nd time, my brother ended up taking me to the ER. The dr there was a cardiologist(I literally owe my life to the man). Was finally diagnosed as a 3rd degree heart block. Mine was bad enough that on the EKG there were times that the lower half of my heart was not beating. Eventually found out that it was caused by lymes disease.

Point being, sometimes the dr’s think they are right. a simple blood test to check for an infection would have shown something was amiss. They took it as I was full of BS and wanting some drugs. You cant treat patients that way. If my bro hadn’t taken me to the ER, I was told that there was no way I could have lived more than 24 hrs with my heart like that…

[quote]Jason_w2006 wrote:
Hey… I’ve had firsthand experience with Dr.'s thinking I was a hypochondriac…

I think sometimes, they should take a little more time to listen to the patient. I had to see the Dr.'s at a local hospital 3 times before I got treatment. First time was I could feel my heart beat(pounding, insane feeling, and I was 25). I was told it was nerves, with basically no tests being done. Went back 2 days later, same thing. Then, 2 days after the 2nd time, my brother ended up taking me to the ER. The dr there was a cardiologist(I literally owe my life to the man). Was finally diagnosed as a 3rd degree heart block. Mine was bad enough that on the EKG there were times that the lower half of my heart was not beating. Eventually found out that it was caused by lymes disease.

Point being, sometimes the dr’s think they are right. a simple blood test to check for an infection would have shown something was amiss. They took it as I was full of BS and wanting some drugs. You cant treat patients that way. If my bro hadn’t taken me to the ER, I was told that there was no way I could have lived more than 24 hrs with my heart like that…[/quote]

The flip side would be the THOUSANDS of patients who really are just looking for pain meds. There are patients who ask for teeth to be taken out so they can get more prescription pain meds.

I hate the fact that your case was overlooked, however.

We live in a world where many people aren’t truthful. They try to take advantage of the system. You also had a bacterial infection that has symptoms so broad in range that it makes Stage 3 of the infection (which it sounds like you were either in or nearing) difficult to diagnose no matter who the doctor is.

I am in chronic pain and do need pain killers on occasion, though I have done very well keeping myself off of them. Sometimes, though, there is nothing else that will help me function and be productive throughout the day.

There are also doctors that become self-righteous and holier than thou when it comes to telling you how they treat something or how YOU should go about treating something. I understand the broad population of patients for which this approach can apply, but for people like me, it is bullshit and, in my opinion, dangerous.

It shows an absolute lack of compassion sometimes. It is easy to spot a doctor that cares - no, I dont’ mean one that merely prescribes what you ask for, but one that might even do some extra research for you - and one that is just a businessman, maximizing their profit by decreasing the amount of face time they spend with their patients.

It is a fundamental approach to medicine…

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27342269

What. The. Fuck.

Serially?

I’ve had a lot of doctors say shit like, “Yeah, it’s mostly in your/our heads” re: an ailment. I always took this as the generic, customer-service-response similar to what IT folk say when they want to get a pesky customer off the phone: “Yeah, send us a request for that feature by email and we’ll push it to development.”

Riiiiight…

I wonder if doctors can be sued for this?[/quote]

What the fuck is wrong with people, each time there is some perceived wrongdoing and there is a doctor involved, the mantra is Sue The Doctor!

It’s people with this attitude that made doctors practice what is called defensive medicine. Give me this or that or I’ll sue you. Let me eat like shit, smoke and drink and if you don’t fix me I’ll sue you! Fuckers! More placebo to you all!

There is nothing wrong with placebo! And it works! Actually most people on these boards take a lot of stuff that probably is not any better than placebo (sorry Biotest), and yet they still pay a lot of money for it (I’m one of them, see my level :))

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

X is 100% right; there are a shit ton of people that just want drugs, and they don’t always want pain meds…just something.

I have heard many stories from my girl and my other medical friends of people who come in and they range from the typical ‘crackhead’ style (pale and shaky with nothing wrong) to a housewife that is insistent that something is wrong and continually names a certain drug she wants.

people are retarded.

plus; the majority of people in the medical field are intelligent enough to be able to figure out who is really in need of drugs and who is just looking for a fix.

[quote]B rocK wrote:

plus; the majority of people in the medical field are intelligent enough to be able to figure out who is really in need of drugs and who is just looking for a fix.

[/quote]

This is not always the case, though. I’ve had doctors prescribe shit without even trying to properly diagnose me - e.g. run the correct tests or come up with theories as to what OTHER ailment the symptom could be of - and simply giving out drugs as if that’s what is common practice to give out in general among their peers. In other words, I have been misdiagnosed before.

There are plenty of hypochondriacs out there as you guys say but there are also quite a few shitty doctors. Just like there are shitty cops and good cops.

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
B rocK wrote:

plus; the majority of people in the medical field are intelligent enough to be able to figure out who is really in need of drugs and who is just looking for a fix.

This is not always the case, though. I’ve had doctors prescribe shit without even trying to properly diagnose me - e.g. run the correct tests or come up with theories as to what OTHER ailment the symptom could be of - and simply giving out drugs as if that’s what is common practice to give out in general among their peers. In other words, I have been misdiagnosed before.

There are plenty of hypochondriacs out there as you guys say but there are also quite a few shitty doctors. Just like there are shitty cops and good cops.[/quote]

What disease do you have?

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
B rocK wrote:

plus; the majority of people in the medical field are intelligent enough to be able to figure out who is really in need of drugs and who is just looking for a fix.

This is not always the case, though. I’ve had doctors prescribe shit without even trying to properly diagnose me - e.g. run the correct tests or come up with theories as to what OTHER ailment the symptom could be of - and simply giving out drugs as if that’s what is common practice to give out in general among their peers. In other words, I have been misdiagnosed before.

There are plenty of hypochondriacs out there as you guys say but there are also quite a few shitty doctors. Just like there are shitty cops and good cops.[/quote]

Absolutely, as in Jason’s case, the doctor should always run the proper tests before he makes a diagnosis, other wise it’s not a diagnosis but just an assumption.

That was more or less the problem. The biggest downside to it was that the heart block aggravated and all ready existing condition(i had a leaking tricuspid valve, and within 5 months of the bad/no diagnosis, I felt like I was 80. It had weakened my heart enough to set in congestive heart failure.

BTW, suing him never crossed my mind. When the hospital official’s became aware of what happened(I spent 2 weeks at Mayo’s hospital in Rochester, MN), they made the bill go away. Just for clarity here, Mayo was the hospital I was taken to once it was realized something was very much wrong.

The original Dr’s excuse - the symptoms were something that would fit a 70 year old. Not a 25 year old. He thought I was simply looking for drugs…

[quote]Jason_w2006 wrote:
That was more or less the problem. The biggest downside to it was that the heart block aggravated and all ready existing condition(i had a leaking tricuspid valve, and within 5 months of the bad/no diagnosis, I felt like I was 80. It had weakened my heart enough to set in congestive heart failure.

BTW, suing him never crossed my mind. When the hospital official’s became aware of what happened(I spent 2 weeks at Mayo’s hospital in Rochester, MN), they made the bill go away. Just for clarity here, Mayo was the hospital I was taken to once it was realized something was very much wrong.

The original Dr’s excuse - the symptoms were something that would fit a 70 year old. Not a 25 year old. He thought I was simply looking for drugs…[/quote]

Like was said, the advanced form of that disease is one of the most mis-diagnosed diseases. The symptoms are too broad and some people have even been mis-diagnosed as having mental problems because of it.

Also, just something for some of you to think of, how many of you would be willing to pay 4 or 5 times as much at the clinic so that every possible test could be done based on any general symptoms of fatigue that you came in with?

I wonder if the pharmacists laugh behind your back as you walk out happily with a placebo?

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:

This is not always the case, though. I’ve had doctors prescribe shit without even trying to properly diagnose me - e.g. run the correct tests or come up with theories as to what OTHER ailment the symptom could be of - and simply giving out drugs as if that’s what is common practice to give out in general among their peers. In other words, I have been misdiagnosed before.
[/quote]

My mother was misdiagnosed for over fifteen years with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, it’s all in your head, etc. by the family doctor. She finally started doing research on her own and realized she had a dead thyroid. Something so incredibly common was missed and she lost most of my childhood to it.

There’s a fine balance between a patient advocating for herself and a patient pissing off and annoying a dr. They’re all only human, after all. I tend to err on the side of trying to advocate for myself as much as possible because I don’t want to end up like her.

I don’t see anything wrong with the uninformed use of placebo. If people knew they were placebos, they wouldn’t work.

Like someone else said, if it really isn’t helping, the patient will notify their doctor and more efficacious methods may be used, but if someone is complaining of chronic pain I see no reason why a placebo could not be prescribed first, as it may very well work. Like hypnosis, it works because you want it to. I’m actually surprised more doctors aren’t doing this.