While this video was created from a recent interview with a top gastroenterologist to shed light of the Diagnosing Difficulties involved with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, it is directly relevant to the current Ebola Outbreak because it reveals the diagnostic importance of taking a simple, but extensive, “Patient History.”

In a technological time of seemingly pin-point medical diagnostic testing, I found this doctor’s candid revelation and productive “Patient History” technique to be comforting since I will never forget the almost 2-year “diagnosis journey” I embarked on to finally be diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1984 at the age of 21.  Most times during that ordeal I found myself “defending” my seemingly unrelated symptoms to smug, smart doctors who only felt comfortable correctly diagnosing me if my symptoms perfectly aligned with a medical textbook definition of a disease which provided them ample legal “cover.”  Luckily, I met this doctor at the end of that journey but had we encountered each other sooner, his very simple, but smart, “Patient History” approach would have revealed I had a severe case of a very serious autoimmune disease which has ultimately disabled me at the young age of 51.  I only hope new doctors embrace this more humane approach because I fear fancy technological diagnostic tests may not always be the best or most extensive approach – especially when tracing “Contacts” in an Ebola Virus situation.

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This is Video 5 of 8 from my September 15, 2014 interview w/ Dr. Mark L. Chapman of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and focuses on the too-often long, arduous and stressful “diagnosis journeys” patients must take before they are properly diagnosed and treated for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.  Dr. Chapman explains how he combats this decreasing occurrence by taking a compassionate and extensive Patient History, conducting a Physical Exam and carefully combing through all that was done previously in a patient’s case.  While technological diagnostic testing for IBD is now state-of-the-art, the most accurate diagnosis still may depend on a simple, but thorough, Patient History.  In that regard, Dr. Chapman shares his incredibly effective techniques for taking Patient Histories.  (Prior videos from that Interview, are also on this Professional Patient Perspective Blog.)

 For more Information:

Dr. Mark L. Chapman
Susan and Leonard Feinstein
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center
Mt. Sinai Hospital
1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029
(212) 861-2000
Michael A. Weiss
Founder, Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol