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Symptoms and Diagnosis Book
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Nedly Matautia's profile photo
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Story
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Symptoms and Diagnosis: Are you asking the wrong question?
Introduction
Do you want to know the symptoms of a disease

"What are the symptoms of this disease?" is the most common people ask the doctors. That is the wrong question to ask. Symptoms do not belong to the disease but belong to the patient. Nabin Sapkota, MD, a board certified Internist and popular medical columnist invites his readers to participate in his book project that will change the way we look at symptoms and diagnosis.

Traditional view of symptoms and diagnosis

Traditional view of symptoms and diagnosis is very simple and widely accepted. Traditionally, diseases are defined by a set of symptoms. You pick up the most prominent symptoms in a patient and match it with the list of symptoms of a known disease. You have a diagnosis if you have a match. In this concept, symptoms belong to a disease. People ask about symptoms of pneumonia, symptoms of anemia and symptoms of heart attack. If the symptoms of the patient match with the list of symptoms, people suggest that diagnosis.

Pitfalls of traditional view of symptoms and diagnosis

Traditional view of symptoms and diagnosis largely ignores the most important factor that influences the symptoms of any disease. Every patient is a unique individual and the unique circumstances of that individual is the most important factor that decides how the symptoms of any disease presents in that patient. When you list the common or typical symptoms of a disease, you ignore the individual variation that depends on the patient. This can lead to wrong diagnosis in many cases.

Patient centered view of symptoms and diagnosis

In this approach, the patient is the main focus of the diagnostic thinking. You need to know the patient very well. You have to consider the patient's unique circumstances and put the symptoms in the right context. You then try to correlate what changes in the internal organs of the patient can make him/her feel that way. You then connect the dots and use common sense to arrive at the right diagnosis.


Symptoms and Diagnosis book project

Dr. Sapkota plans to teach this patient centered thinking of symptoms and diagnosis in his new book. He will be sharing the stories of his real patients to show his readers how patient centered diagnostic thinking works. In doing so, he will also teach his readers how to think like a good doctor and analyze the symptoms to get the right diagnosis. 

Be a part of the Symptoms and Diagnosis book project 

Dr. Sapkota is requesting for input from his readers on his book project. You can tell him what particular aspects of diseases, symptoms and diagnosis you want to learn and he will include that in his book. If your idea or question is picked up by the publisher, you will get a chance to have your name listed in the book's acknowledgement section.