One topic that really bothers me as a physician is how patients are not completely honest with their doctors.
A young lady was brought to the emergency room with a few days history of difficulty in breathing and cough. She denied history of similar illness in the past and denied seeing any doctors and denied any medication use.
After thoroughly examining and investigating this lady, it was obvious she had a long standing illness and the history she gave could not have been correct.
We had another talk with her, with the evidence that we were aware she had been ill for a few years… She eventually came out with the truth… She was diagnosed with a heart condition years before, and she was on medication, which she refused to use. She has been going from one hospital to another, hoping for a different diagnosis.
What’s wrong with this behaviour? You might ask…. She has the right to keep her history to herself, you might think…. But when you are seeing a doctor, remember, this person is a stranger, he/she does not know you, they reach a diagnosis, based on what you tell them, coupled with examination…. Tests are also ordered based on the medical history and diagnosis reached. Doctors are not mind readers… We can’t know some things if we are not told by the patient.
What are the dangers of lying to your doctor? The main problem is WRONG DIAGNOSIS!!!! And that’s where all the problems start…. Wrong diagnosis = wrong tests are ordered= wrong drugs or procedures are done for the patient…..
What are the possible outcomes? The doctor may, because of experience, know the patient is lying, and address the issue like in this case, get the truth and treat accordingly.
OR… The truth stays hidden, wrong drugs are administered, the patient gets worse or dies, and then we blame the doctor… Who acted according to the information that was provided…
So please help your doctor to help you get the best care possible…. Always tell him/her the truth… Even what you feel is a secret… We are bound by confidentiality… We cannot divulge any of the information we are given.
Written by DANG DOCTOR Dr Monisola Adanijo FMCP for DiaryofaNaijaGirl.ng