When you visit your Primary Care Physician (PCP) your brutal honesty is essential. Your PCP needs the full story about your health, habits, and lifestyle in order to give you the best medical advice and treatment. Holes in the story or dishonesty can skew your PCP’s assessment leading to incorrect recommendations. This can at best give you subpar treatment and at worst incorrect treatment.
Why Patients Don’t Tell Their Doctor Everything
In a 2018 study at the University of Utah Health, researchers found that 60 to 80 percent of people surveyed hadn’t been truthful to their physician with relevant information to their health. They admitted to either lying or stretching the truth about their diet and exercise habits. Survey respondents said the reasons were they didn’t want to be lectured or judged, and more than 50 percent said they were just too embarrassed to tell the truth.
Aside from hiding the full truth, patients may think that other details are not significant. They may not think that what is going on is related to the medical concern. They may think it is irrelevant of inconsequential. Yet time and again, we hear stories of minor details leading to major medical consequences.
Remember, Your Primary Care Physician Wants to Best for You
Your PCP is there to help you and can only do so when they know they entire story. It impacts their ability to accurately diagnose, assess risk, and order the appropriate tests and screenings for you. If you leave out any details it could prevent your doctor for doing this.
Remembering the details and being as open as possible is in your best interest and helps your PCP do their best for you. Physicians do not judge their patients and so it is best to be an open book and lay it all on the table.
Here are 5 ways to be prepared when meeting with your Primary Care Physician (PCP)
- Tell your PCP about ALL of your symptoms. Even if you feel they are insignificant. Over-describing is better than missing an important detail.
- Don’t minimize or exaggerate symptoms. An accurate description is necessary to appropriately gauge the situation.
- Be honest of exactly when the symptoms first started, even if you waited a while to go see the doctor.
- Remind your doctor of any previous issues or things you are concerned may be connected, like a family medical history. It is better to be thorough than hold back on asking questions.
- Be specific on any recent lifestyle changes that may have coincided with symptoms. In some people, even changing the brand of laundry detergent can result in medical symptoms.
Consider these 5 topics before going to visit your PCP to be prepared to be as truthful to your doctor as possible. It is imperative to your health!
If you are looking for a Primary Care Physician (PCP) in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, Glendale or Tucson area, please give Dr. Ben Evans a call at any of his Vitality Internal Medicine locations today.