Growing up I loved Unsolved Mysteries. But I think we all did. The super creeping music followed by Robert Stack’s deep thundering voice. It is a show that does re-enactments of different mysteries. Often times it is a murder, a kidnapping or a questionable suicide. We were all drawn in and by the end of the show everyone has a thought as to what happened. Quickly we are invested and want to help find answers for these families. The reason for episode is that the team investigating does not have the answer.
It was at this time I realized that I loved collecting information to help solve a problem. Robert Stack inspired me. I love playing Clue and think that Ms Scarlet should never be in the Conservatory with a rope. I went to a murder mystery and many thought I was the murderer because they did not believe I was actually a physician. This is the world of diagnosis. We collect information, focus on history, follow up with an exam and then order labs/diagnostic reports to try and figure out the answer.
Thankfully Netflix has brought back Unsolved Mysteries. It quickly rose to number one on the Netflix list. Why? Because we as humans are problem solvers. But this show is helpful to young physicians. The premise of the show is to get a great history, present it to the world and see if others can help add information to come to a final diagnosis. From Agatha Christie to Robert Stack to Anthony Fauci we need problem solvers.
I see patients with symptoms and complaints that have not been diagnosed. But I will not give up. Robert Stack never did. But the show has inspired and helped influence my training. Hear the history again. Bring patients back for another visit to hear how the history has changed. Ask colleagues for advice. Ask the patients what diagnosis they are concerned with. Examine a patient more than once. Order tests that fit your differential diagnosis. Patients are not like test questions. You do not need an answer after a 15 minute visit. Do not give up. Listen and learn. At the end of the day you may realize that Mr Green fell in the kitchen while holding a knife because his neuropathy was due to Charcot Marie Tooth.
The Doc is In