Crowd Wisdom, Premature psych conclusions, and harm from misdiagnosis

James Navin jnavindr at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 24 23:40:04 UTC 2013

absolutely true there is a reason they screen admitted mental patients for thyroid disease and syphilis


-----Original Message-----
From: Amy Reinert <amy.reinert at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 1:36 pm
Subject: Crowd Wisdom, Premature psych conclusions, and harm from misdiagnosis

I'm coming in a little bit late to this discussion, but did want to respond to Dr. Bell's comment about women with history of sexual abuse seemingly living in the doctor's office. 
For my doctoral dissertation research, I conducted a study of women diagnosed with autoimmune disease whose symptoms had been dismissed by several physicians over the course of several years. All of these patients were dismissed as "psych" by male and female physicians alike (please note that they were screened for pre-existing mental disorders). Some physicians ran tests initially. Others declined to run tests at all. Obviously these women truly were ill, however, they experienced significant psychological harm that can reasonably be attributed to misdiagnosis or lack of investigation. Of course, there were also financial implications from all of these unproductive office visits. Too much to go into in depth here, but in considering the harm these patients experienced in terms of their mental health (being told they was nothing wrong with them when in fact their bodies were clearly--to them-- ill) and the worsening of their untreated disease, it seems that there does need to be further study of patients with unresolved symptoms. The results of my study also indicated that more study of the influencing "invisible" personal biases held by physicians is also in order. 
A.D. Ruzicka, Ph.D

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