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Home » Uncategorized » My trip into the “treatment trap” and the birth of Quizzify

My trip into the “treatment trap” and the birth of Quizzify

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Quizzify knows. Click to learn more.

Does wondering how Quizzify got started keep you up at night? Wonder no longer.

It was not obvious to combine overdiagnosis with Jeopardy.  That is, unless you were both on Jeopardy, and also were overdiagnosed, which describes me.

In 2012 I was hired to host a radio series for the NPR affiliate in Washington DC (The Big Fix). After the first taping, the producer said so far so good, but I’d sound better after I got over my cold. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually have a cold. Newsflash to those of you who have heard me on podcasts by Josh Luke, David Contorno/Jeff Bernhard, Jen Arnold, Zeev Neuwirth, or anywhere else: this is the way I sound. I’ve been told I have a face for radio and a voice for newspaper.

Nonetheless, not wanting to be fired my first day on the job, and recalling that a few years earlier a doctor told me I had a deviated septum (“we ought to do something about that”), I immediately called my PCP for advice.

My PCP immediately set up an appointment to see an ENT, who determined that my stuffiness was likely being caused not by the deviated septum, but rather by a raging case of the polyps. (“Your deviated septum is the least of your problems.”)

The ENT suggested surgery, Flonase, or Flonase combined with a three-week course of antibiotics. “So,” she asked after quite literally six minutes explaining the options, “which do you want to do?”

“Um, shouldn’t we do the most conservative therapy first?” I inquired.

“Well, you could,” she replied, using a tone of voice implying that only an imbecile would.

Why was this diagnosis and treatment problematic? Six reasons…

 


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