more on qualified physician parasitologists

Omar O. Barriga oobarrig at
Wed Feb 26 19:07:44 EST 1997

In article <3313D5ED.F50 at> Mark Siddall <msiddall at> writes:
>From: Mark Siddall <msiddall at>
>Newsgroups: bionet.parasitology
>Subject: Re: more on qualified physician parasitologists
>Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 01:19:25 -0500
>Organization: Laboratory of Phylohirudinology
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>Just to offer my $0.02 regarding whether or not physicians are trained
>enough in parasites...

>An eternal cynic, I ran my own experiment...
>A patient (me!) presented with chronic (>2 mo) GI distress accompanied
>by intermittent diarrhea, bloating, excessive gas etc (Sorry for the
>Without solicitation, my primary care physician (not a specialist)
>immediately inquired if I had been out of the country recently.  "Why
>yes," I answered, "South Africa in December with my fiancee."  

>"Did she come down with anything?" he inquired.  I answered in the
>affirmative "Campylobacter jejuni".   "Have you seen any blood,
>yourself?" he added.  "Nope" I said.  "Well it can't be that, besides
>you would have been here long ago, but it does make it likely that you
>were exposed to something related to food handling."

>Then he explained to me the details of how low-grade Giardiasis matched
>my symptomology pretty well and proceded to recount even the specifics
>of what would be expected of a patient's narrative like "things just
>don't come out the same as I am used to" etc. 

>He handed me specimen collection containers, one with NBF and one with
>mercuric chloride specifically labelled for ova and cyst recovery,
>prescribed metranidazole without having to look it up, counselled me on
>how ridiculously sick I would feel if I even sniffed alcohol while on

>I inquired about starting the medicaiton right away and he said "Nope,
>get the specimens together so we don't blow the diagnosis, then go on

>I then revealed that I am a parasitologist and inquired ass to why I
>wasn't to collect specimens oevr a longer period (as I thought
>appropriate for Giardia).  He replied that, in fact, the diagnostics had
>gotten better of late and two sucessive days should be fine for the
>local parasite lab to make a determination.  

>So... in fact, this fella, a primary care physician, was reasonably well
>versed in the symptomology, diagnostics, treatment and side-effects
>thereof, and willing to admit, too, that there are a whole host [sic] of
>things that it could be besides, but this was a reasonable and
>predictable start.


>PS: I'm not crazy about metronidazole.  Tastes awful.


	Your physician was remarkably good. May the fact that you are at 
Michigan have somethingto do with it? Most general practitioners I know 
are pretty good, but far less familiar with giardiasis than yours.

	Hope you are feeling better know,


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