Samantha Torrence – It is no secret that with all the information available and the multitudes of technologies and research facilities that keeping up with the latest medical breakthroughs can be difficult and even controversial. Doctors working with infectious diseases are no strangers to dealing with controversy espcially those with a vested interest in Lyme’s Disease. Dealing with pressure, controversy, and difficult patients is the status-quo for most doctors today. Is it too much to expect that doctors remain professional despite these pressures?
One doctor did not remain professional and publicly ridiculed a group of people who say they have Chronic Lyme’s Disease on the IDSA Facebook Page. His comments inspired so much ire that he has blocked contact from people on his own Facebook page. Brett Shepard M.D. works for St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Associates in Duluth, MN. and is probably regretting his online outburst. The IDSA did delete all of the comments, but not before many screen shots were taken.
After reading the commentary by Brett Shepard it is evident there is a long history that lead to him mocking Chronic Lyme patients. However, instead of attacking the patients perhaps he should be more proactive in addressing why he believes the way he does. As a doctor who works with infectious diseases he has information available to him that many others may not, still why the aversion to using prolonged antibiotic treatments? Has there been a study on patients who claim to have Chronic Lyme to determine if antibiotics do indeed work or if it is a placebo affect?
Brett Shepard is by no means the only doctor who has decided to combat the chronically ill and pain ridden patients who demand a better treatment. He is not the only one to mock them and the doctors that help them. Should these doctors who have taken to high school bullying tactics take a break from their job and gain some perspective?