This happens to me this morning. When I ask about whether my legs are having lymphatic congestion or varicose veins, because the symptom of both two I read on the internet are similar, the answer the doctor said is "I don't know". He gave me some drugs, and said that if it doesn't get better, he will arrange an experiment.

I understand that symptoms are hard to tell exactly, but I also want to learn more. Of course I know that questions where the answer is clearly 'see a doctor' are not encouraged, but what if the doctor says: "I don't know"?

Should we:

  • accept those questions if it is clearly state the doctor doesn't know (and encourage the OP to ask how they will handle this if possible)?
  • close the question with the reason: "see another doctor"?

1 Answer 1


Sometimes, people are quite startled to hear that a doctor doesn't know something.

Like any other situation, I think that this should be handled on a case-by-case basis. If the OP is asking for a personal medical opinion (which one is it more likely to be?), then it's off-topic. If the person wants to know what it means (in general) when a doctor says "I don't know", I think it's on topic, though I'm sure some would disagree.

  • 1
    Can you make some distinguish about the on-topic-ness of this kind of question? I'm still confuse.
    – Ooker
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 5:36
  • 1
    It is very on-topic here. All site-related things are. :) Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 5:45
  • 1
    +1 for recognizing that the current rules are sufficient to deal with this kind of question. We neither need to decide that we'll accept them all, nor to introduce a separate close reason for those we don't accept.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 19:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .