Trumpitis Needs an ICD10 Code


October 2015 a new much more specific diagnostic coding system emerged for health care. Plainspeak translation: the name next to your complaint at your doctor's office got really specific. There are special codes for crashing your spacecraft, getting attacked by Orca whales or ducks, specifying whether this is the first visit or a follow up for these bizarre occurrences. However, I've yet to find a useful code for an issue I've been seeing a lot in the last 5 months or so.

My patients have had a dizzying variation of symptoms after Trump was elected. See that photo? It's based on real complaints, it's not hyperbole. Most of my patients with these symptoms are vulnerable patient populations: ethnic or racial minorities, transgender, queer, elderly, medicaid dependent, mentally ill, or all of the above. These symptoms are very real and have the potential to be costly (e.g. a work-up for crushing chest pain, or dramatic weight loss). Many of my patients are truly suffering, psychologically and physically. I have immigrant patients who, if deported, will surely die if returned back to their country of origin. I have others who now face terrifying discrimination from those emboldened by this administration's support of the alt-right / white nationalism. I have some who stay up nights worrying about themselves, their neighbors, their children, their jobs, their planet. And no, these are not "liberal snowflakes" who are bemoaning the loss of an election - these are people truly suffering in this "New World".

Apparently, I am not the only one who has commented on this. This article speaks about trauma in children. If you're dubious about the repercussions from the election I strongly urge you to read it.

We are often told not to be political in our work - that it can be a dangerous thing to bring politics into the exam room. But it's already there - gun safety, toxic exposures, reproductive health - we can't avoid it. The government is supposed to be elected to represent and help its people, not make them sick.

"...some believe that physicians can be politically active and some do not. Very bright people of conscience hold opposing views on the question."

"Politics in the exam room? Here’s what this doctor does." Steve Schlozman, MD 8/26/2016

Things are political in medicine now. There is no doubt. The March for Science, the ousting of Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, it's a frightening thing to see.

I hope to one day again have leaders that prioritize peace, the planet, the wellbeing of the humans that live here, and who take to heart actually learning from those they lead and represent.

Until then, I will have to manage in my office, dealing with the fallout the best I can, ICD-10 code for Trumpitis or not.


Dr. Eaman's Web Search Tips

#1 

Chose websites that end in .gov or .edu first and .org second (MayoClinic.org is a good one). Websites like mine that end in .com are generally just purchased webspace, but an educational organization or governmental organization would likely have more trustworthy & honest information and not just some random person's opinion.

#2

Don't trust news sources for your health information. Check their sources. Oftentimes the media will blow a small irrelevant thing out of proportion to make a good story sell. Go to the original site.

#3

Feel free to crowd source but always remember: everyone is an expert in their own experience, not yours. So when Aunt Tilly says coconut oil cured her psoriasis take it with a little grain of salt. 

© 2016 by Doctor Eaman