This doctor makes over $200,000 per year to tell patients to go look things up on the internet
April 11, 2010 4:20 PM Subscribe
Can sinus arrhythmia be dangerous? My doctor told me to ask you instead of her.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Last month, I had to have a complete physical before being allowed to play a sport at my college. I don't have any health insurance so the only place I could do it was at the student health center. The physical included an EKG. There was a two week wait for the appointment, and then another two week wait before I could come back for the results.
When I came back for the results, a nurse was there to give them to me and explain them. On my EKG there was a note: "sinus arrhythmia." I asked the nurse what that meant. The nurse told me she wasn't qualified to interpret something like that for me, and I would have to come back again and make an appointment with M.D. on staff. I agreed to do that.
Yet again the soonest available appointment was two weeks later. I arrived early for the appointment, and the M.D. told me she only had 5 minutes for me, even though it was still half an hour before they closed and there were no other people waiting.
I told her my EKG had a note that said "sinus arrhythmia" and that I was there to ask her what that was. She said "it means: normal." I was surprised. If it meant "normal" why not just write "normal" on the chart instead of "sinus arrhythmia?"
I said, "all right, but I'm still wondering what it is." She said "look it up on the internet."
I left the room stunned. I guess we are supposed to go to doctors to learn about medical things instead of learning about it from the internet, unless the doctor has somewhere else to be, and then the internet is just as good. So, I did what she said and looked it up on the internet. As expected, there was a wealth of completely conflicting information. I am most concerned about the information that says sinus arrhythmias should be treated unless they become worse and kill you.
I do not the doctor will be any more informative if I make another appointment, wait another two weeks, and go back to her with the conflicting information I found on the internet. I don't have health insurance or extra money to go ask another doctor. My professor overheard me talking about this after it happened and said she probably just couldn't remember what it was, and winged it because she felt like she was on the spot.
She told me herself to go find out what this is on the internet, so I'm asking you. Mainly I want to know if it is dangerous or could become dangerous. I've always played sports but I should know if playing sports will aggravate this arrhythmia.