It is common practice for people to make mistakes. We all do it and yet we deem some professions infallible. Why is that? Why do we believe that someone might have some perfect record in which they were born with a score cared reading 100? Obviously this is an asinine idea that should be applied to all professions, including physicians.
When I was diagnosed in 2006 I was stage II, DCIS, ER Positive and BRAC2 positive. I had a lumpectomy with no clear margins. The suggested course of action was chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. My father, being a doctor, recommended that I get a second opinion on my pathology report due to the fact it was the “personality” of the cancer. I sent my samples off to one of the leading labs in the country.
I met with my oncologist to get my chemotherapy protocol and he had copies of both pathology reports. He told me that based on those reports I would require radiation. He sent me downstairs to meet with the radiologist. I had a consultation on what would be required. It included the number of weeks, the tattoo and the time. I was not looking forward to this process. When I was finished, I was off to the plastic surgeons office.
Sitting on the table in my plastic surgeon’s office donning the paper cape, I started calculating how much time this whole process was going to take. Sheesh, a minimum of a year. My plastic surgeon walks in, and proceeds to glance at my chart. He said, “Well I see here you don’t require radiation.” I was thinking to my self, WHAT? Obviously plastic surgeons need to know if you are going to need radiation to make appropriate surgical decisions. That’s right, my own oncologist misread the second opinion pathology report because it was different than what he was used to reading.
I could have received radiation even though it wasn’t indicated. After that experience, I questioned EVERYTHING. We are the only ones in charge of our bodies and yes the medical profession is fallible. Do the research, ask the questions and get second opinions…your future depends on it.
© 2013 Genae M. Girard Author of Off the Rack, Creator of www.BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com email: info@BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com