Browsing through my blog reader today, I came across this:
A Redlands mother of four was accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, fabricating or inducing illnesses in her own children
-LA Times, via the Lone Coyote @ Medical Student Musings
It certainly must be frustrating to deal with hypochondriacs... even more so with hypervigilant parents! Every little cough or sniffle becomes a sign of some impending disaster to the point where the doctors become desensitized to the Truth. Just because someone is seeking attention for a medical illness that they read about on the internet doesn't mean that they are Attention-Seeking and worthy of only a cursory exam and subsequent dismissal.
Perhaps this is just my naivete and inexperience speaking, but the patients with the irritatingly vague and persistent complaints may just BE the ones who deserve the most attention and cognition. Maybe, just maybe, they have a genetic condition like Ehlers-Danlos Plus (though I couldn't find it definitively on OMIM) with a chiari malformations that could explain the seizures, centralized sleep apnea and joint dislocations.