Before I was diagnosed with my Fibromyalgia by my rheumatologist, I had told my Canadian General Practitioner that my USA Family Doctor had thought I had thought I had Fibromylagia, and my G.P. laughed at me, and said... "Don't ever tell a Rheumatologist that you might have Fibromyalgia because they might not take you seriously because Fibromyalgia is not considered a real disease."

I didn't tell my Canadian Rheumatologist any of this, but he did diagnose me with Fibrymyalgia in the end.

Is there truth to what my Canadian GP was saying, that Fibromyalgia is not considered a genuine, real auto-immune disease by some?

I found it really hurtful because my life has been and continues to be pretty rotten because of all the Fibromyalgic symptoms, and him not legitimatizing it as a genuine auto-immune disorder, seems that he either thinks my symptoms are psychosomatic or just made up!

Why do some General Practioners not consider Fibromyalgia as a genuine, real auto-immune disease?

1 Answer 1


Medicine, more than almost any other discipline, requires continuing education through the entire career. It changes rapidly, and whatever a doctor was taught 20 years ago in med school, or even 10 years ago at a conference, may not be true today. So if they're not keeping up, they're going to be ignorant on some issues. I've seen that myself more than once with my own doctors.

In some ways it's easier for specialists. They can focus their continuing ed on their one narrow specialty. If you walk into a cardiologist's office and ask about your rash, he'll just wave you off down the hall to the dermatologist. But a GP can't do that. They have to remain abreast of the whole spectrum. They have to be able to recognize and diagnose -- or at least suspect and refer to a specialist -- pretty much every disease, disorder, allergy, rash, psych issue, pregnancy issue, STD, sex problem, weird bump on my tongue, and of course whiny made-up complaints.

So it should come as no surprise when patients like you, who suffer from a certain disease and therefore know more about it than most doctors, encounter one whose knowledge is outdated and no longer correct. Your knowledge of the subject is ahead of theirs, so I would recommend smiling, saying good day, and finding another doctor.

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