Recently, I was contacted by a company, (who shall remain nameless) that stated they provided training videos for trainee doctors as part of their exams. This company contacted me as they had seen The Thyroid Damsel on Google and wanted me to be a part of one of their videos. Of course, I jumped at the chance! Anything I can do to help spread awareness and especially helping with new up and coming medical professionals, to have a better understanding of Thyroid Disease.
This was the email I recieved.
Dear Lucy, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but I found your blog, The Thyroid Damsel, online. I’ve been searching for people online with Grave’s disease to ask if you are interested and willing in working with us. I work for ******** which is a company based in Knutsford, near Manchester, that provide online revision, books, and courses for medical students and doctors to help them achieve success in critical exams. We have over 40 years’ experience and expertise in providing revision materials that enable doctors to achieve exam success and progress in their careers. We are currently working on a project that provides revision videos for doctors approaching their Royal College exams. To achieve this, we need to capture various cases which appear in their exam, Grave’s disease being a vital case which we feel the revising doctors should understand prior to their exam. I am approaching you today in the hope that you may be able to support us with this task. I would like to ask if you would be interested in being filmed as part of this project. As a blogger and vlogger, you are undoubtedly comfortable being in front of the camera (which is an area we find most difficulty with) The day would involve approximately 2-3 hours of your time, in a small/informal studio in Heywood, Greater Manchester. You will of course be remunerated for your time, and we are happy to assist with transport arrangements or requirements. Within the timeframe we hope to film a basic examination. There will be no invasive procedures, only an initial assessment of your condition which is performed by a clinician and senior doctor. We hope to make the day as easy and enjoyable as possible. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member along with you for support, as the studio provides a kitchen and seating area for them to make themselves comfortable. A television and free Wi-Fi are available on site. I have attached a leaflet outlining what you can expect from one of our filming days.
I immediately replied and said I would be happy to help and was thrilled to be asked. I recieved an email back stating filming would be on 26th October. I was also asked a few questions, so they could create a “scenario” for the Doctor that would be “examining” me.
In order to write a suitable patient scenario for you, I need to ask you some questions regarding your Grave’s disease: Why did you have your thyroid removed? What, if any, other signs or scars do you have beside the thyroidectomy scar?
I wanted to be as thorough as possible so I sent them back a detailed response about my Thyroidectomy and why it happened. I stated how I had been on Carbimazole and PTU and my levels were never right. How I was offered RAI but opted for surgery because it seemed like the best option. I also mentioned that I was told I would be much better by my Endocrinologist following surgery, and that levothyroxine would make me feel a shit ton better! This little miracle pill! I then proceeded to tell them that this is a common misconception by the medical profession and that not everyone is a text book thyroid patient!
I think this response that I sent to them must have frightened them away, because the following email I had, said that I was not the correct candidate for them after all!
Apparently, I wasn’t suitable because I had no signs of Graves disease anymore, and didn’t have any signs of Thyroid eyes disease.
Now, I can understand this, and I’m not saying I would have been a suitable candidate if what they wanted was someone with Hyperthyroidism! However, they had specifically stated that they wanted a candidate with Graves!
Once again, the medical profession gets it wrong. Bravo! … Graves disease is still present in those of us with the AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, it might be in remission if well treated, but still present all the same, and always will be.
It appears to me that once again, we will have another bunch of Endocrinologists and GP’s coming out of training, with no real concept or knowledge of thyroid disease, relying solely on their ‘textbook’ medical knowledge!
I’m saddened that still in this day and age, and with all the active campaigning that there is out there, and patient stories, that thyroid patients are still over looked in the medical field.
All I can ask is that people who read this post will share, share, share and tag anyone and everyone in the medical field.
Hopefully one day someone will take notice of us and take notice of our stories and it will help how patients are treated in future.