Doctors and CH Education

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cluster Headaches Messages ]

Posted by Mark Goldsworthy ( on September 08, 2000 at 15:53:12:

In Reply to: No I don't t think ... posted by Geo on September 08, 2000 at 01:00:39:

I am an MD (anesthesiology) who suffers from CH and recently discovered this group. Nice to see a forum for this disorder! I would like to comment on MD education and CH. I would like to assure sufferers that, at the least, more recent med school graduates are educated on CH, but the time spent on the subject is short and treatment options are given short play. This is because CH is overshadowed by migraines and tension type headaches, which have many more sufferers than CH. Especially in this HMO climate, education is aimed at the diseases that are more common and easily treated. CH is not presented as some mysterious, kooky disease any more. I suspect that those MD's who treat it as such are from the 'old school' and were educated many years ago.

However, given the incidence of CH which is around 50/100,000 (1/2000) it is not uncommon to run into an internist or a family practictioner who has never dealt with a CH sufferer directly. I know in my training in internal med, which was one year internship, I never ran into another clusterhead, but I did run into many migraine sufferers. Thus, while an internist or FP will likely stay abreast of the latest migraine treatments, it would not be surprising to find them lacking in knowledge of the latest CH research and treatments. Afterall, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of human disorders which have incidences in the 1/1000 to 1/10,000 range. A general practice MD cannot possibly learn all of these; that is why there are specialists who focus more on these less common disorders. Headache specialists should certainly know the latest research on CH and the latest treatments (if not you need to find another).

While we are suffering in the midst of a cluster it is frustrating to yet again educate another FP or internist on the latest treatments, but the MD is ignorant, not malicious. If you unfortunately get one of the nasty ones, you need to find another. I share all of your frustrations with the lack of knowledge of CH in the medical community, and I never fail to educate my fellow MDs when given a chance. But I'm not surprised when my new HMO internist, who deals with hundreds of patients with diabetes, or hypertension, or high cholesterol, or osteoporosis, or migraines, or.... (you get the picture) sees me and tells me I'm his first CH sufferer in five years, that he may not be up on the latest treatments.

That's why this group is so valuble!!! The more power we have, and the more educated we are, the better our lives will be, and the less we will suffer. We need this group to discuss the latest in CH research; I can guarantee you your FP or internist is not up on it. And just like all chronic diseases, we will express frustrations with the medical community. After all, medicine is still run by mere mortals, with all the foibles, shortcomings, and frustrations that any human endeavor will entail. Again, that is what this group is for, expressing our frustrations.

Good luck to us all as we suffer with this painful condition. I myself am into my second week of a cluster, three times a day.


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Cluster Headaches Messages ]



Click Here!