About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

3 comments on “In Reporting Symptoms, Don’t Patients Know Best? – Do docs downgrade complaints?

  • Amen, brother. And then there are all the doctors who look at the xryas (MRIs, CTs) first and decide if it is even worth talking to the patient. I always try to teach the residents (ha ha) that each patient is a person first, an xray second. I can’t tell you how many MS patients have been sent as lumber discs, how many lumbar stenosis patients really suffer cervical myelopathy, etc. Patients are changing their approach to medicine but doctors are mired in the past…wonder why we were left out of the health care debate?

  • It is incredible how little doctors actually listen to their patients. Then as your symptoms grow over years into a laundry list, they listen even less. I brought up vagus nerve damage to my (now ex) primary care doctor and she said that even tiny damage to your vagus nerve makes you instantly drop down dead. (8 MILLION Americans are living with Gastroparesis due to vagus nerve damage.) Then she wrote down that I was having anxiety and immediately left the room while I was still asking questions. A previous doctor had overdosed me on an anti-depressant because no one wanted to actually know how it “wasn’t working right” and believed that “I don’t feel right” meant I was too much of a problem to listen to. When I went to the emergency room because I lost the ability to put my thoughts to words and understand simple sentences others said to me, the doctor saw what medication was just raised 3 days earlier (the overdose) and immediately walked out of the room, diagnosed me with tooth pain, and told me to leave. I’ve found once they’ve written in your chart that you have any kind of mental issue (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc – whether correctly or INCORRECTLY diagnosed) the doctors who read your records will dismiss you EVERY SINGLE TIME. I had a massive infection in my face that caused my cheekbone to turn to mush but 2 CT scans showed nothing – my dentist took 1 x-ray and said it was one of the worst infections he’s ever seen. The medical society in the US needs to stop playing to their egos and start paying attention to their patients.

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