Article Index

“Why Doctors Can’t Diagnose and What Tests Should be Considered” was the title of the lecture by Dr. Byron Hyde, Founder and Director of the Nightingale Research Foundation, Ottawa, Canada, co-sponsored by the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Saturday, October 27, 2012.

Dr. Hyde's Background

Several incidents early in Dr. Hyde’s life shaped his capacity for empathy. In the eighth grade, he developed polio, which he felt gave him an advantage compared to other doctors. He was unable to go to school, and while at home he became a prolific reader. After a year he was able to return to school but he learned first-hand what it was to be disabled.

He also has suffered with migraines since he was a young teen. While studying at the University of Toronto, during one of his last exams in history, a subject in which he was getting excellent grades, he was unable to take the final because of a migraine. The physician did not believe him; and this doctor’s response led Dr. Hyde to affirm he would always believe his patients when he, himself, became a doctor.

Dr. Hyde explained that physicians do good work and make excellent diagnoses in about 90% of their patients. However, in the remaining 10%, which would include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FM) patients, physicians do not have enough understanding or time to make a complicated diagnosis, and instead make what Dr. Hyde called the “Educated Guess Diagnosis”. He suggested that doctors rarely look for multiple causes of illness. Dr. Hyde, in fact, has rarely found just one cause in a complicated illness.

Dr. Hyde divided his lecture into a section on ME/CFS and then Fibromyalgia, though some topics were addressed simultaneously.