Are Doctors Over Reliant on Tests?

One of the things that has been bugging me for a long time is the reliance of Doctors on test results and their ability to totally disregard any diagnosis based upon the presentation of symptoms.

For example a patient presents with a particular set of symptoms which lead the Doctor to think the problem maybe a particular illness, condition, whatever. The Doctor then decides to get a test, usually a blood test, to confirm or disregard the diagnosis. All good until the test result comes back. The result is very borderline. Think a 10.9 score where 11.0 confirms the diagnosis. The Doctor then declares that you cannot possibly have that condition because the test result says you don’t.

Now if the result had come back as less than 10 then maybe I would accept that as being defintitive but 10.9 against 11.0 is one tenth and that is nothing in my book. What about the symptoms? It was originally thought that the symptoms pointed to this diagnosis and they still do because they have not suddenly disappeared because the test result said so. Is there no margin of error in the lab that did the test? Are there no grey areas here? Is everything really so black and white in medicine?

It is only black and white when looking at things such as x-rays of a broken limb that prove something beyond doubt, a borderline test result actually proves nothing at all. It neither disproves a diagnosis or confirms a diagnosis. So rather than go back to the symptoms to make a diagnosis we are told there is nothing wrong. This is what is wrong. I still have my symptoms and I know something isn’t right so how can you possibly draw a conclusion that there is nothing wrong Doctor? You tell me that only people who score 11 on the test have that condition and that if I still have symptoms in a year I can be retested, in the meantime you will deny me any treatment and allow the condition to develop, cause whatever damage to my body, and leave me suffering.

One year later we repeat the test and score 14.2 now you are all over me saying we must do this, you must do that, take these tablets. Is anyone else seeing what I am seeing? Is this pattern being repeated in other surgeries? Comment below and let’s discuss this.