I was not in the debate club during high school but I have learned the art of the debate. And no, I am not running for office. I enjoy a good discussion but it is difficult to debate issues that are not debatable.
During my day my main goal is to be a good listener. Process symptoms and develop an evidenced based plan. But at times I debate. I explain why a Zpack is not needed for a viral upper respiratory infection. I discuss the issues behind opiates for back pain.
Patients at times want extra tests and imaging that is not needed. I try to explain the evidence and risk/benefits behind tests but they do not always care. No, I do not need to check your for systemic Candida or your thirteenth Lyme test. Yes I realize that you are tired and are having trouble losing weight but there may not be some rare hormonal imbalance that we have missed.
I try to remain evidenced based. I listen and process all the information. Then I present my assessment and plan. Then, at times, the debate begins.
But in one respect I have given up. Debating the flu shot. No it will not give you the flu. Yes, a coworker of yours may have gotten the flu shot and then died a year later. But is was not from the flu. But at the end of the visit when I ask if you want the flu shot I do not have the time in my day to debate. Not the flu shot. There is no debate. The flu shot helps save lives. I have had almost one patient per year die of the flu.
What I need is more time. I want to debate . Not politics but why everyone over 6 months should get the flu shot. In medicine we have so many things to discuss and document it has limited our time to debate.
Differences with my wife and the Flu shot. Two things that I will not debate. Get your flu shot.
The Doc is In
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