Jul 7, 2010

Big Fat Liar

As doctors, we are trained to be skeptical, because our patients lie all the time. The rule is, every patient is a liar until proven honest.

For some people, lying is a necessity. Sometimes we lie to protect the people we love. Sometimes we even lie to ourselves because the truth freakin' hurts.

Lying is bad for yourself. Especially when you are a patient.

It's NOT OK to lie to your doctor. It prevents your doctor to come to an accurate diagnosis and subsequently, you'll get the wrong treatment and management.

Sometimes patients do not lie. They just conceal the truth. There's a huge difference. For them, what people don't know won't hurt them. But the truth is that, even the smallest detail counts as far as your doctor is concerned.

You have no idea how the little things could change everything. Even the choice of words used is important.

For instance, when the doctor is taking history of a patient having trouble breathing. The patient is asked whether he takes any drugs. Not knowing the importance of it, the patient answered, "some aspirin".

After an extensive examination including tox screen, turns out the patient has 'aspirin toxicity'. The doctor couldn't find out about it earlier due to the misinterpreting of the word 'some'; which obviously in this case, is not a small amount after all. But to the patient, it is.

That's why doctors have to be smart. Being a diagnostician is a lot like being a detective. Maybe that's why i wanna be a surgeon instead ;p

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