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Secrets Your Doctor Won't Tell You

a doctor and a patient
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By    |   Monday, 09 March 2020 01:03 PM

We all keep secrets, even doctors. This doesn't mean they'e withholding crucial information, just that there are certain things they don't tell you. Here we take a look at some of the things your doctor won't tell you, which were revealed to The Remedy by the industry's professionals:

1. They Know When You're Lying

Rachel Shively, MD, an emergency medicine physician and toxicologist practicing in New York, has heard and seen it all and years on the job has taught her how to recognize it when a patient is lying.

"With lying, it is usually because they are embarrassed or nervous that we won't give them the same care if they are upfront about things they do that might be disadvantageous to their health," she said, explaining that this could include things like drug use or not being compliant with their medications. "We certainly don't judge," she said, adding that "things like what you took, or the mechanism of your injury, are important things to tell us."

2. They Don't Like It When You Exaggerate

A pet peeve for many doctors is a patient that over exaggerates their symptoms because they assume they won't take be taken seriously.

"This is also unfounded but with them I always wonder what happened to them in prior medical experiences that made them think that way and also why that seems to be a pervasive thought in certain communities," Dr. Shively said. "Same goes for threatening to sue if you don't get what you want."

3. They Don't Always Know Everything

Doctors are not exactly going to readily admit to their patients that there are things they just don't know. Jack J. Springer, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell, explained there are certain cases in which doctors do not always have answers to.

"For example, as an emergency physician, my primary role is to stabilize seriously ill patients and reverse their condition, if possible; next is to rule out, within reason, the presence of any life or limb threatening, or organ threatening injury/illness; and lastly to decrease pain as much as is reasonable," he said. "Many people come to the ER expecting definitive answers and so are disappointed. But if you arrive with a benign rash, we will most often not be able to give a precise cause for the rash — and for the vast majority of time it won't make any negative difference."

4. They Also Get Tired

The best time to schedule an appointment with a medical practitioner is in the morning, when their minds are fresh. Chiropractor Brandon Meade explained that a patient will receive better treatment if he or she is one of the first to be seen.

"Many times, by the end of the day, doctors — especially chiropractors — are mentally and, in the case of a chiropractor, physically exhausted and they may not be as focused as they are in the beginning of the shift," he said.

5. They May Not Tell You When Things Are Hopeless

Doctors, and especially oncologists, do not necessarily want to tell their patients that all hope is lost.

"There is withholding of a description of the emotional and physical costs of 'battling' when there is little likelihood of success," Springer said. "Doctors should take the lead in changing our cultural views around death, allowing it to be discussed everyday with comfort and acceptance."

6. Some Decisions Are Made in Less Than 20 Seconds

Doctors will not tell you this but their training has "provided little insight into the cause of illness," said Dr. Michael E. Platt, MD.

"Statistically, within 18 seconds of a doctor entering a treatment room to see a patient, he knows what drug he is going to prescribe for whatever you have complained about," he said. "For example, if the complaint is insomnia, a hypnotic will be prescribed. If you have low back pain and fatigue, the doctor might prescribe Lyrica suspecting that you might have fibromyalgia."

7. Antibiotics Are Often Not Necessary

Illnesses caused by viruses, like colds, coughs and fevers, must run their course and antibiotics will have no benefit. They may even cause harm "in the form of side effects and bacterial resistance," said Dr. Springer.

8. They Get Frustrated If You're Not There for the Right Reasons

"I don't work in a clinic, so I don't deal with cancellations, but occasionally we do get people who are opiate-seeking or seeking to be admitted to the hospital for social reasons," said Dr. Shively. "Those people are frustrating as they inappropriately use resources causing people with legitimate concerns longer wait times — plus they can become violent with medical staff, which is clearly unsafe for everyone."

9. They Don't Have Time to Explain 'Why'

Doctors are on tight schedules, which means they do not always have enough time to explain why they are prescribing certain therapies and medications, noted Lisa Paladino, MS RN CNM IBCLC, a nurse practitioner for women's health.

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We all keep secrets, even doctors. This doesn't mean they'e withholding crucial information, just that there are certain things they don't tell you.
doctors, secrets
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2020-03-09
Monday, 09 March 2020 01:03 PM
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