The Diagnosis Detectives on BBC2 - Dr Stephanie Barrett



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The Diagnosis Detectives on BBC2

It was a surprise and pleasure to be chosen as one of the Diagnosis Detectives, in the recent BBC 2 factual medical series.

In my view the real stars of the show, were the amazing patients. I got to know Katie with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos (EDS) syndrome and Carys, who had Adult Onset Still’s disease (AOSD). These are very rare conditions and there is no specific blood test to confirm or refute the diagnoses. Clinical acumen and experience in rheumatology training, lead to recall of specific patterns of symptoms and signs which fit these diagnoses. This gives them even more mystery in the general medical world. It can be years before a diagnosis is reached in so many conditions, familiar to the rheumatologist. As one of my colleagues put it beautifully “patients must be believed and heard”.

Without this partnership from the medical profession, it can be a soul destroying time going from specialty to specialty. This is why the DD programme is so important as a model, for the multi disciplinary approach, which works best for the patients.

We also had a great team leader, Dr Michael Moseley, who is one of the best medical communicators I have met. We all became good friends and still share a WhatsApp group. A great example of team working and enduring friendships.

Dr Stephanie Barrett