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A Piece of My Mind
January 2, 2013

Mind the Outcomes

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Kressin; nkressin@bu.edu); and Manchester Veterinary Clinic, Manchester, Connecticut (Dr Atz).

JAMA. 2013;309(1):39-40. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.153826

In the end, my friend the veterinarian counseled me (N.R.K.), the answer was probably steroids, regardless of the diagnosis for my cat's vomiting and weight loss. And in the end, the answer for my symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease was omeprazole. Yet the diagnostic path for each case varied substantially, in cost, risk, and time, although ultimately, the suggested approach for each was similar—a reasonably inexpensive, easily available medication to address the symptoms. While I recognize there was an array of “rule outs” in the background of each situation (some of which I was not privy to in the discussions described below), why was it so hard for this patient/client to negotiate her way to obtaining enough, but not too much, information to address these symptoms?