OK - maybe not so simple, but I’m curious how either side of the doctor/patient relationship behaves regarding, shall we say, “full disclosure”. I would ask that we limit the discussion to adults for this thread, as children are a distinct and quite different subset, medically speaking. I don’t want to get into the whole vaccination thing and similar topics at the moment. Thanks.
Docs: How often do you expect to be lied to during routine examinations, such as physicals, well-check visits, etc.? By lying, I mean the typical responses to those pesky questions like “are you following the diet we discussed”, or “have you cut down or eliminated alcohol”, or “how often are you exercising?”
On the flip side, how often (if ever) do you play down someone’s condition, or try to modify behavior without dire warnings (e.g. “if you don’t stop eating/drinking this way, you’ll be diabetic within the year” vs. “you really need to eat better”)?
Patients: How much do you “spin” your answers to your primary care doc? C’mon, I know you want the best care, but do you/have you ever “tweaked” your responses so that you didn’t disappoint your doctor? Please be honest. This is sorta like the “how often do you floss?” question that dental hygienists routinely ask. They know, of course, who is lying and who is not. A lot of questions by doctors can be very uncomfortable to talk about, but are crucial to diagnosis, treatment, and your health in general. Who honestly wants to reveal how many times they really eat out at McD’s or Pizza Hut? How many brewskis they really had last weekend? Or every day? The last time they got off the couch and took a three-mile walk?
My answers? I’ve lied, routinely, and so have some of the docs I’ve seen. I’m getting much better about the honesty thing as I age. It ain’t easy, but I’m a lot more comfortable talking with my PCP these days - I’ve been seeing him for almost a decade, and we have a decent “working relationship” - he doesn’t preach, and I try real hard not to deceive.