B1 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Why It’s Important To Be Honest With Your Doctor

Posted by

Doctor with male patientHonesty is the best policy. We’ve all likely heard this idiom a thousand times over. And, for the most part, it’s true. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule. Not all of us want to tell our five-year-olds the truth about Santa Claus just yet. But when it comes to our health, there’s no second guessing the fact that it’s important to be honest with yourself.

When you are feeling ill, you run the risk of getting others sick if whatever you have is contagious. The best person to diagnose you is your doctor. Now, that should go without saying, however, many of us choose to use the “it’ll pass, I’m fine” attitude towards their under-the-weather days. And to be really honest, we likely do this to ourselves because we’re just plain scared to hear the truth.

Isn’t it better to know exactly what is wrong with you instead of guessing? Misdiagnosing yourself will only allow your illness to get worse. Of course, the same can be said about injury. Sure, we all have these amazing immune systems that allow our bodies to heal themselves. But appropriate rehabilitation is mandatory in order for you to get back to a true sense of normalcy and optimum health.

So, not only is it important for you to be honest with yourself, it’s important to be honest with your doctor. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Why wouldn’t you tell your doctor the truth? Well, you may be surprised to find out how many people hold back in the doctor’s office. Dr. Stewart Segal describes this experience on KevinMD.com. He insists that when patients hold back on him, it’s enough to terminate the doctor-patient relationship.

“While there may be a place in the real world for partial truths and degrees of honesty, there is no room for dishonesty in the exam room,” he writes, insisting that being honest with your doctor tops the list of most important things you can do to maintain good health. His experience has proven to him that when his patients are dishonest, their conditions tend to significantly worsen.

This isn’t to say that doctors don’t understand why patients hold back on telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A bit of shame sometimes creeps into the entire process. “There are many reasons patients exercise various degrees of honesty,” says Dr. Segal, “Some patients feel their actions make them look foolish; some fear the doctor’s scorn, some fear the answer to their problem will be too much for them, others are simply embarrassed.”

Nevertheless, the doctor-patient relationship must be one that is built on trust, insists the doctor. And why shouldn’t it be? Being honest with your doctor is integral to your well being. That said, it’s only right that nobody’s time and money is wasted due to dishonesty. We all have jobs to do, which means if you’re unable to work, you should be given the appropriate care to allow yourself time off from work to recover.

At the same time, employers deserve accurate information about the health statuses of their employees. Likewise, insurers have the right to know that they are compensating those who truly need it during their times away from their jobs. Of course, it’s unfair when insurance programs are abused. Many are unfairly affected by dishonesty, including insurers, employers and those who are truly sick or injured.

This is why, at Independence Incorporated, we make it a point to foster open communication between the family physicians and treatment providers that are involved with our clients. For more information, about our services, please call 204-478-6644. To be perfectly honest, we’d love to hear from you. And as you know, honesty is the best policy!