Thursday, December 15, 2011

Try not to change your nephrologist

Many people on dialysis keep changing their nephrologist. Every now and then. This is not a good thing. There is a lot of undocumented history that resides in a nephrologist's mind. This can never be substituted by anything.

Why do people change their nephrologist?

Mostly, it is because they hear something good about some other nephrologist. "He is very good, why don't you try him?" kind of a thing. Remember one thing. Once you're on dialysis, things happen. It is often not due to the nephrologist's fault. Chronic Kidney Disease lends itself to a host of co-morbidities (conditions that occur alongside the primary disease itself). This is part of the game. The nephrologist can often not do anything to prevent it. So, do not blame your nephrologist for everything that happens to you.

Some people do not find the time given by the nephrologist to them adequate. This is a valid concern. Some nephrologists do not spend enough time with their patients. It is not their fault. They have to see so many patients in a limited span of time. But what does the patient do in the circumstances? This is something that I have no solution for. But think hard before changing the nephrologist.

The time the nephrologist spends with you is very important in your overall treatment. A lot of thought goes on in his or her mind that gets stored in his or her brain. This cannot be replaced by any amount of documentation.

Think about how the human brain works. There is a lot of processing that goes on before arriving at a decision. Things that can never be substituted by books, journals and documents. The decision is arrived at based on a lot of experiences of the past, the dozens of cases the nephrologist has dealt with in the past and the results of so many different treatments and their outcomes that are stored only in his brain.

I am not saying NEVER change the nephrologist. But you must have a strong reason to do so. Don't do it just because the patient in the next bed at the dialysis unit asked you to.

Rolling stones, they say, gather no moss.

No comments: