Monday, July 13, 2009

The Word of the Day is Gustatory

I found myself using the word gustatory alot today. Dont know why, the word kept coming out and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Gustatory refers to our sense of taste.Hence the bad pun above :-) It is one of our five senses-sight,smell,hearing and touch are the other four. After I had spoken this word back to some of my patients today, I wondered how many times a day a doctor will use words their patients have no idea what it means. So in essence, by using words a patient does not understand, lessens the value of the visit for the patient.

I constantly strive to not explain medical terms with medical terms. If this is done, the patient will have no idea what the doctor is talking about and the visit is a waste of time for the patient. Here's an example; I've overheard a surgeon explaining what a small bowel obstruction is by stating "Your jejunum and distal illeum are constricted by a volvulus which needs to be reduced via a NG tube to facilitate convalesence."


I couldn't believe what I was hearing and obviously felt bad for the patient who thank goodness was mine so I re-explained that what the doctor should have said was "Certain parts of your small intestine are narrowed to a point where food cannot pass. We need to place a tube in your stomach to help relieve this narrowing and this will help yopu get better. (Yes, I know, the first sentence was a run on; just dont tell my english teachers:-)

You may now be wondering who Yopu is. Actually, he is a creation of mine as I mistyped the word and I immediately thought of a Star Wars character and I went with it. I meant to say you, not yopu....

Do doctor's use these fancy words to make them look smarter? Possibly. Or do doctor's just not even realize that they are speaking in ways the patient just does not understand? This is more likely.

Gustatory sensation is very important in the low carb lifestyle as we have to like the taste of the foods we eat. If we dont, we will not eat them. The good news is that there is a low carb world out there just waiting for all of us to uncover.

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