Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Avoid the Nocebo Cha Cha Cha!

When I was a kid, from the time I learned to read up to about age 13, I was a hopeless hypochondriac. I developed symptoms for every disease I read about, and I was particularly concerned about appendicitis. After taking me and my complaints to the family doctor several times (needlessly), my parents brought me to see their chiropractor...and there I was cured.

Like the physician, the chiropractor found nothing the matter with me, but he helpfully suggested my folks buy me a parakeet to get my mind off myself. I was aghast, insulted...and made well. My stomach pains disappeared, and my appendix remained intact for 54 more years.

This experience taught me early in life not to aspire to any employment in the medical profession, and that's just as well since, apparently, many medical students suffer disease-less symptoms just as I did. Nevertheless, today, because I am interested in health care, I do visit a few medical blogs. One I like particularly is Junkfood Science at http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

This blog belongs to Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN, CCP. She offers "critical examination" (read common sense evaluation) of healthcare news. Today's posting at http://tinyurl.com/cah62w
draws on an article by Stuart Blackman in, oddly enough, Financial Times, concerning the nocebo effect. Had I read it before my visit to the chiropractor, I should have been saved a bit of angst.

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