I usually get very frustrated by articles like the ones Reader’s Digest seems to be printing every month now, “10 Things You Must Ask Your Doctor,” or “7 Ways Your Doctor Is Trying To Kill You,” or something like that. Looking at the one in Dr. Mark’s office, though, it occurred to me: annoying as it might be to have a patient read me the list of JCAHO guidelines for a certain disease, and ask separately if I intend to carry out every single one (as though I maybe never heard of those particular steps before), I would really rather deal with a patient who understands the possible significance of having “the worst headache of my life,” rather than the kind I more frequently encountered in the ER, who couldn’t describe this headache, or their usual headache, or compare them, no matter how you phrased the question. But maybe the dear journalists could not put such antagonistical headlines on the stories?

(Disclaimer: In case it’s not clear, I love informed patients, and I firmly believe in the importance of physicians educating their patients, and explaining everything clearly, and a little more honestly than we tend to do. I just don’t appreciate yellow journalists trying to do it for us, and giving the impression that we all secretly would rather cut every corner in the book, and have our patient die.)

Advertisements