Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Comment from the HCV Advocate

I told you that the HCV Advocate is my most trusted source for information about Hepatitis C and here are a few more reasons why.  In response to my post Dear HCV Advocate, I received a comment from their webmaster that I am paraphrasing below:

Hi Selena,
Hang in there!
Just to clarify, we obtain a lot of information from in-person Hepatitis C and liver disease conferences that we attend and some of the research presented is still in progress and not yet at its completion.
We do have lots of abstracts and articles at the HCV Advocate website, as you know, from very well established authorities in the field. 
Unfortunately, a lot of doctors are so busy they can't keep up with the research as we are able to do.
I so appreciated this comment; I am also not surprised by its content.  I wrote another recent post where I mentioned that medicine was both an art and a science and questioned what happened to the practice of the art of health care.  Apparently, I needed to question the science side of health care as well.  

All health care professionals, including physicians, are mandated to complete continuing education courses.  This requirement can be met by attending conferences.  It is apparent that the HCV Advocate is paying close attention to the information being presented at these conferences and posting summaries of the latest findings on their website.  It is also clear that the HCV Advocate is reading the articles being published in liver-related medical journals.  

I have to wonder why the hepatologists I have seen, some of whom I know attend these same conferences and read these same journals, aren't coming away with the same information.  Today everyone is too busy to get to all the things on their plate; knowing that doctors aren't keeping up with medical research findings and their related implications for clinical practice really makes me nervous.  Can I really be more educated about Hepatitis C than my doctors?  

That thought is downright scary...

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