Monday, December 20, 2004

Student doctors

Hi! Everyone!

Guess what? Go on - have a guess! Oh! Alright, I'll tell yer!

Me and Arf and three other people diagnosed with different types of MS were questioned by four lots of student doctors about our MS! I'll start at the beginning! Wendy, my neuro-physio, arranged it all! She managed to procure a doctor's practice near here for an afternoon!

This practice is very modern and in grounds fit for a palace, with peacocks and their babies wandering around as if they owned it! It was beautiful and very different to my own family doctor's surgery!

Anyway! Each of us with MS had a room each (my husband Arf was allowed to sit in with me). Two students came in and asked about my symptoms and how long I'd had MS, plus how I was diagnosed and my thoughts on professionals like neurologists and family doctors. They both took notes, and were extremely interested in the length of time and the hassle I had trying to get doctors to believe there was something wrong with me.

As you all know, we with MS are often thought to be anxious, out of our mind, or neurotic because MS mimics many other conditions. We had coffee and then two by two (a bit like Noah's Ark!) the students moved around until they had all seen the four of us with MS. So I had to repeat myself four times, but it was brilliant!

Because I've had a brain tumour, the students were particularly interested in me (well, interested in my brain!). It was always our door that was knocked on asking if we had finished yet (we over-ran our 30-minute slot each time!).

Apparently, one hunk of a student told us, the way patients are treated is changing and new doctors are now being taught to actually listen to the patient as well as looking at their notes. WOW! I'll believe that when I see my neurologist next year!

The whole afternoon was so interesting and hugely enjoyable because the students were actually listening and interested in us and our problems, both physical and mental. I came away feeling far more hopeful for the young people being newly diagnosed and also excited about news of existing treatments and trials of new drugs.

All of the students taking part thanked us for giving up our time - a small price to pay for perhaps a brighter future in the treatment of MS and all chronic conditions. Wendy was thrilled with the whole event.

When I next saw my family doctor I mentioned to him about the conference and he said he taught the very same students a couple of times a week at the University Hospital! Good job I didn't mention his name to them! It's unlike me to keep my mouth shut about such things!

God bless each and everyone of you this Christmas and I'll see ya in 2005! Sandie. xxxxxxxx