I’m listening to Medical School for Everyone, Grand Rounds Cases. There are some interesting points regarding what happens when you have an illness that is hard to diagnose. If you go to Specialist X you will probably be diagnosed with a disease within that specialist’s area, regardless of the disease that you might actually have. If the specialists truly are stumped then they fall back on the all-purpose “It is all in your head” and send you to the psychiatrist who gives you pills that you’ll eventually stop taking because they aren’t helpful.
One lecture concerns an unvaccinated American child who contracts measles while on a trip to France. He comes into contact with about 110 other people while contagious. One of them (his unvaccinated brother) falls ill. The rest are hunted down by public health officials who check vaccine status, administer boosters and other prophylactics. The lecturer says that the cost to the local public health agency was over $300,000 and that didn’t count a couple of weeks of hospitalization in a room with negative air pressure for the two children who actually became ill.