Post #29 – Getting a Second Opinion

Disclaimer – The following post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or sickness. Please use caution if any parts apply to your specific situation and contact a health care professional for further advice. 

 

Hello and welcome! I almost skipped the blog this week, but then I heard about a really cool health diagnosis program that I had to share. SO YOU ARE IN LUCK! Thanks for tuning back in this last full week of January. Enjoy 😊

 

Part 1 – Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion Program

Chronic illnesses are known for some famous obstacles when it comes to the medical journal involved with them.

You may have reached a dead end in your treatment plan.

You might have been told “Nothing is wrong with you”.

You might have received a diagnosis that in your heart you know is completely wrong.

You might be at your wits end going from doctor to doctor, feeling like you are never getting any closer to an answer.

The doctor you need to see might work hundreds or thousands of miles away, and you don’t have the resources to get to them.

You may not be able to afford the thousands of dollars required to go to a research facility such as the MAYO Clinic.

Maybe, despite everything you are doing to treat your condition, you are just getting worse.

 

THERE MIGHT BE AN OPTION FOR YOU! I recently was told about an amazing new program at Stanford University (Stanford Medical) called the Second Opinion Program. Their website reads:

HOW DOES IT WORK?

1 – Create an account and tell us your situation. The cost for the service is $700 USD.

2 – We’ll collect your medical records (if your records are in the U.S.).

3 – An expert from Stanford Medicine will review your medical information.

4 – We’ll send you and your local physician a written Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion.

 

Check out this link for more info! https://stanfordhealthcare.org/second-opinion/overview.html

 

I did a little research and found out that the scope of conditions they specialize in are basically endless. They even have experts in Dysautonomia or Autonomic Dysfunction (what POTS fall under).

 

Seriously, give this resource a look if you NEED MORE HELP!

 

Disclaimer- I was not paid or given any product/services for free. This review was made purely from my own will.

 

Part 2 – Rate vs Risk

A little bit of statistics this week for part 2. Put on your thinking caps.

I am reading this neat book right now about the probability of dying in different ways. I know I know, it sounds grim. The overall theme of the book is that you mise as well live life to the fullest because your odds of dying from any specific cause are actually pretty low. You can skip that bite of cookie dough because you are afraid of getting salmonella, only to be hit by a meteorite the next day (it actually has happened before, I looked it up).

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/02/130220-russia-meteorite-ann-hodges-science-space-hit/

I was especially fascinated by chapter on how dangerous hospitals are, and how to go about choosing which one is the safest to have an operation at. *Of course this interested me, I have browsed the entire web looking up safety records at the hospitals I have had procedures at* I was re-educated on a topic that I haven’t thought about much, and that is Rate vs Risk.

The principle is simple. The best indicator we have for how safe (or dangerous) a hospital is, is how many people died there in the past. This is information that been tracked for quite some time now (decades). Unfortunately, the methods for what constitutes a death that is directly related to certain procedures and/or hospital error has varied over time and by state/location. This makes the data less reliable. But even if we assume that every hospital tracks data the same (and that every patient at every hospital is at the same level of critical condition – NOT A REAL THING), we still run into the issue of Rate vs Risk, or more simply put “how lucky the hospitals are getting”.

How can we prove a certain hospital is a dangerous place to have a procedure and not just the surgeon there had an incredibly unfortunate streak of bad luck? There are some statistical methods that put hospitals in more of a “range” of safety that help to combat this issue, but essentially the moral of this story is that YOU CAN’T BE CERTAIN. Ultimately when choosing to have a procedure done, you need to pick your surgeon based on your own standards and trust in them.

The “Rate” at which people have died in the past at a hospital is NOT ALWAYS the best indicator of the “Risk” of dying in the future at that hospital. For example…

GAME 1 – Let’s say you have a deck of cards with all four suits in it (Hearts, Spades, Clubs, Diamonds). A person will pull one card from the deck, and if it is a heart they lose. Then they put the card back in the deck and another person draws a card. And if it is a heart they lose as well. And so on and so forth. 100 people draw cards from this deck. If 60 of them get hearts. The “Rate” at which people lost this game is 60%. When the 101st person steps up to draw their card, they still have a 25% “Risk” of losing (1 divided by 4, since one suit loses and there are four possible suits to draw).

GAME 2 – Now in another game, we have a 52-card deck that ONLY has hearts and spades in it (for you card players out there assume there are two of each card to make up the entire deck). Same rules as game one. If 100 people draw a card and 40 of them get hearts, the “Rate” at which people lose this game is 40%. When the 101st person steps up to draw their card, in this game they still have a 50% “Risk” of losing (1 divided by 2, since one suite loses and there are only two possible suit to draw from).

 

Now. You are person 101. You did your research and the only available information to you is that:

Game 1 has a 60% rate of losing

Game 2 has a 40% rate of losing.

Which game are you choosing? Obviously Game 2.

 

BUT!!!! What If you knew the actual risk, which is

Game 1 has a 25% chance of losing

Game 2 has a 50% chance of losing

You would clearly pick Game 1 despite the prior history of bad luck the players had. *at least I hope you would*

 

All of this is very hypothetical. But at a very basic level the same principles can be applied to the health care world. No matter how technologically advanced we get, as long as humans are involved in surgeries and medical procedures, there will be errors and strokes of bad luck. Find a doctor you trust and don’t rely so heavily on the “rate my doctor”.com reviews.

Thanks for reading! Please contact me for any specific topics, questions you want answered, or reviews you want!

Jarod Gunning – Dude with POTS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s