Friday, July 15, 2011

Trust & Medicine: When to Have It? Who Deserves It?


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I'm curious: If you knew about a doctor who was promoting a procedure and himself publicly (news articles, public lectures, etc.) would that affect your trust in the doctor himself or your comfort with the procedure?

One of the only things I haven't tried for preventing my chronic migraines that is currently available is an occipital nerve stimulator. I know a few people who have done it, and I've read a lot about it. In my information gathering process I became familiar with the name of a doctor in my region of the country who does the procedure. I filed his name and the name of his clinic away in my brain (and in a Word document of research) in case I decide to meet with doctors about getting the stimulator. Recently I started seeing his name at least a couple of times a week in my Google and Yahoo news alerts for "migraine". I mean, that's fine, he's doing a procedure to treat chronic migraine and he's holding public meetings about it. But I feel a little weird about the fact that he seems to be marketing himself/the procedure. What are his motives?

I've had bad luck with every single medication and procedure that was supposed to help prevent my migraine attacks. Over and over and over again I offered up my unconditional trust and tried things that didn't do anything to help. Sometimes they made me worse. So now I'm asking lots of questions, which is a good thing. But am I looking for a level of reassurance that isn't possible?

Would a doctor in this guy's shoes be honest about his success rate treating chronic migraine patients with the occipital nerve stimulator if he's interested in promoting himself and his practice? Is he just trying to help people who need help? Or is he looking to profit from our desperation?

What do you think? Does speaking publicly about his work say anything about his integrity at all? What gives you reassurance about a doctor or treatment?

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.