We need all of us to be vigilant and self advocating for our own health. That means we need to have a clear understanding of our own particular COPD. COPD is an umbrella for a number of obstructive respiratory diseases and takes a different form in each of us. Some have more bronchitis than emphysema or visa versa. Then there are symptoms such as wheezing or muscle loss (cachexia.) Then there are comorbidites that complicate the picture. It's very complicated. Many Doctors don't even get it Yet we know our bodies. And we need to speak up!
What does your Doctor understand? Here's an article that indicates just how uninformed final-year medical students can be:
"Results: Of the 338 students contacted, responses were collected from 211 of them (62.4%). Only 25.2% had an accurate idea about the concept of the disease. The study found that 24.0% of students were familiar with the three main symptoms of COPD. Tobacco use was not considered a main risk factor for COPD by 1.5% of students. Of those surveyed, 22.8% did not know how to spirometrically diagnose COPD. Inhaled corticosteroids were believed to be part of the main treatment for this disease among 51.0% of the students. Results show that 36.4% of respondents believed that home oxygen therapy does not help COPD patients live longer. Only 15.0% considered the Body-mass index, airflow Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise (BODE) index to be an important parameter for measuring the severity of COPD. Giving up smoking was not believed to prevent worsening COPD among 3.4% of students surveyed. Almost half of students (47.1%) did not recommend that those suffering from COPD undertake exercise.
Conclusion: The moderate level of understanding among the population of medical students in their final year shows some strengths and some shortcomings. Teaching intervention is required to reinforce solid knowledge among this population."
Folks, always ask questions and always advocate for yourself. If you begin to suspect that your treatment is insufficient or inappropriate as I did get a second opinion and/or find another doctor. That days of doctor=god are over!