Diagnostic Inflation

You know how new parents stereotypically freak out over every little thing, and then by the time child #5 rolls around they’re like, “Eh. If it doesn’t kill him, it’s okay”? Well, it turns out doctors are the same way.

Our pediatrician is fresh out of med school, and I imagine that it’s tempting to over-diagnose things early on in your practice. Every time we took our baby in, he though we needed to check him for jaundice (the lights in their exam rooms were yellowish), and as far as I know, the tests never showed anything. The last time we took him in was for a persistent cough, and the doctor was hard pressed to decide between asthma and pneumonia.

Then there’s our family doctor. Every time I go in to him he tells me I just have a virus and will have to wait it out. I pretty much have to be missing limbs before he seems worried. I can’t blame him. He’s a little older, so by now he probably rarely sees challenges, and the run-of-the-mill stuff bores him. I’d be the same way.

Has anybody else noticed this? (Krista, I’m looking in your direction...)


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