Friday, May 19, 2006

What's in a name?

Residents of Blighty will have noticed the weather this year has been a bit non-descript. Ok we didn't get the "Worst-Winter-on-Record" but it's been cold and dark for a very long time. And not as usually wet. (Last few days excepted that is).

In Borsetshire this has meant a heck of a lot of people having dry itchy rashes. Specially tinies (under two's in this context). Lots and lots of little ones with scattered reddish dry patches, sometimes a bit scaly. What I was taught to call Infantile Eczema. You can also consider Sebborrheic Dermatitis as a similar diagnosis, but me I like Infantile Eczema. It suggests an eczema that is just mucking about. Not a proper "grown up" eczema that's well thought out and has really got it's act together. I know it's probably just me, but it's a diagnosis I like. It makes me smile.

On another tack our CHD nurse has just been in to talk about a patient of hers who has had a CT scan of his kidney. The report is a small essay and mentions a Bosniak Cyst.


In the old days this would have occasioned an embarrased call from humble GP (yours truly) to the erudite radiologist to ask for an explanation, but no longer. Thank heaven for Google.

Go on, look it up. The answer at your fingertips in seconds.

The patient's daughter wanted to know if it needed to be investigated further. At class III the answer is yes. Thanks to a quick search we were able to tell her yes and the necessary arrangements are in hand.

With more and more of these eponymous classification systems being developed and more and more acronyms finding their way on to hospital correspondance the job would be just about impossible without Google or something like it to call on.

I remember a little old lady coming out of hospital a while ago saying proudly "They tell me I've had HONK" Doubtless anyone who graduted in the past decade knows without looking, but once again my blushes were spared by good old Google.

So who says playing about on computers in work time is just infantile then eh?


pink said...

if my doctor googles BDD i'm going to be very tempted to sack the dear old girl! ;)

vegas said...

I hope all those eponymous syndromes are on the way out. NO use in clinical practice whatsoever. Abbreviations are fine, but naming a collection of symptoms after an individual is not only bizarre but unnecessary. More importantly, it makes it even harder to revise for exams....
Long live Google (but I hope they get some competition otherwise they will take over the world)

Doctor Jest said...

pink-- the thing about being a generalist is knowing where to find stuff out. If she's up to speed enough to Google stuff she doesn't know about, rather than try to pretend she does, I should be inclined to stick with her.

Vegas-- you're probably right, but who would remember Dr's Dupuytren or Peyronie or indeed Potts without them. We all deserve our crack at immortality don't we?