Perplexed Pediatrician – Should Mom Worry?
Should I be concerned that my son’s pediatrician has never heard of the National Cancer Institute (the “NCI”)?
A few weeks ago, during my son’s routine 12-month check-up, his doctor and I were making small talk and it came up that I am a Cancer Information Specialist trained by the NCI.
My son’s doctor, a lovely woman whom we’ve seen before turned to me and said “The NCI?” to which I replied “The National Cancer Institute” and her reply was “What is that, some sort of Government agency?”
I was blown away. My jaw practically dropped to the floor. Maybe it’s naiveté, but I just assumed that all doctors, regardless of their chosen field of specialization, would have at least heard of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) Am I wrong? I understand that doctors choose a special track or focus and that they cannot be expected to be fully familiar with each facet of the medical world, but aren’t all aspiring doctors introduced to each field of medicine while in medical school?
Even if aspiring doctors aren’t exposed to all fields of medicine in their education, wouldn’t someone in the medical world, particularly a doctor, know that the National Cancer Institute, created in 1937, at least existed?
I left the office a little perplexed. If this doctor hadn’t heard of one of the largest medical institutions in the world, should I let her be in charge of my son’s health and well being? Is this a big deal? Am I making too much of this? I would love to hear from others about this topic. Please comment and tell me your thoughts.
Guest Editor, Heather Matthews – Patient Navigator LLC Cancer Information Specialist
I would worry too. I find it quite disturbing that any doctor, pediatrician or not, would not know that the NCI exists. Cancer happens to kids, too. Moreover, any informed citizen who reads the newspaper or listens to news would have heard of NCI somehow at somepoint. Get another doctor! This one is clueless.