Monday, 30 March 2015

5 Lies Your Doctor May Tell You

Do doctors lie to patients? Yes, but before you start judging, you need to know that oftentimes, the lies are part of routine medical practice and sometimes they are told for personal benefits. 

#Lie 1: You need all these tests for a diagnosis
Truth is, at least half of all diagnostic tests ordered by your doctor are medically unnecessary. Even when a test will make no significant difference to a diagnosis, a doctor may request the test simply because it is part of routine investigations. An example is the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) test in diagnosing malaria. 

#Lie 2: You need this surgery
Truth is, if it is not an emergency procedure, always get a second and even third opinion before you go under the knife. About 10 years ago, my doctor told me to have an appendectomy when I complained of pain in my right lower abdomen. I declined and years later, it turned out, I had peptic ulcer and not appendicitis. I would have gone through unnecessary pain and exposure to complications associated with surgery. Recently, a young woman sued a doctor for wrongfully removing her normal ovary.

#Lie 3: I'm a better doctor because I have many years of practice 
The number of years a doctor spends in medical practice is essential to building experience and confidence with managing different disease conditions. However, doctors who have been out of medical school for many years are half as likely to stay up-to-date on new medical findings in their fields than doctors who recently graduated from medical school. So with experience, the doctor may be using outdated information in treating you.

#Lie 4: Alternative medicine does not work
I'm sticking out my neck for this one because it's a gray area and I practise  conventional medicine but the truth is, herbal remedies work for some illnesses, some not all. For example, the skin of an unripe pawpaw can be used with other ingredients to successfully treat jaundice in a newborn and I have seen it work. 

#Lie 5: Doctors are experts in diet
Well, this is a general misconception and not part of what doctors say. If you want expert advice/help with your diet, you should see a dietitian. Most doctors did not study nutrition/diet in school, so any dietary information you get from a doctor may be good but certainly won't be the best.

In conclusion, you may hear other lies, so pay attention and ask questions during your clinic visits, read up on your condition and always seek a second opinion if you are in doubt.

Stay healthy and beautiful, xoxo.

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