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Re: doctors, I'd also like to point out that, while the goal of medicine as a whole is to prevent death & suffering, the goal of doctors is to prevent death & suffering from treatable causes.

Individual doctors do better or worse at dealing with patients who fall off the map of known problems and solutions - from accusing patients of lying about symptoms to referring them to medical researchers to just explaining that there's not much they can do but keep an eye on the situation - but the most important thing, medically, is for the doctor to make sure that your symptoms don't have a known, treatable cause.

Dying or suffering for years from a mysterious condition sucks; dying or suffering for years from a well-known condition that just went undiagnosed sucks worse.

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