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Where does it come from?

This past weekend I was doing my weekend job, scorekeeping for my son’s AAU baseball team, and in a close play at the plate, my main man sprained his ankle.   He limped off the field and we did the usual treatment, rest, compression, ice etc.   While he had the ice on I told him to keep the joint moving.  Moving the joint while icing is a fabulous way to pump the inflammatory chemistry out and align any scar tissue in a proper manner.

One of the kids on the team (15 y/o) starts arguing with me that you are supposed to keep the joint immobile and not move it.    After being polite and telling him why you are not supposed to do it, he insisted that he was correct.  After a minute of this I had lost my pleasant demeanor and confronted him.  I asked “Which doctor school did you go to?”  He stammered “uh none”  I replied  “Well dude I did go to doctor school and you need to keep your mouth shut.”

Where does that attitude come from?  That 15 year old is not the only person who thinks they are an expert.  I get people from all walks of life who come into my office and they think they are the expert.  It is shocking sometimes.  I put up an x-ray and point out that their spine is a total wreck and they think everything is fine and dandy, because the pain only showed up a week ago.  They have no clue because that their problem started 20 years ago and their spine has basically been rotting away.

Last week this 70 year old patient calls my office and asked to speak to the doctor.  My staff sets up an consult and we chat.  She says after 4 weeks. I am not better yet.  I asked “Who said you were supposed to be better already?”    She says “a friend of mine went and was better in a couple of weeks.”   I replied “It is a documented fact that the spine take 6-8 weeks to stabilize.”   So you think your friend is a better expert than a doctor with 22 years experience?”   She just went on about her friend.

A wise man once said that people were overeducated.   I never really got that to the degree that I have that now.  Until the people our country stops being such arm-chair experts, we are in big trouble.    They don’t know that they don’t know.  It is scary.

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