10 Things Patients Do That Frustrate Their Doctors
Most of us could make a list of the things doctors do that frustrate us, but have you ever thought about what things we do that may frustrate our doctors?
You may be frustrating your doctor without realizing it if you…
1. Stop taking medication without telling your doctor.
This is not only frustrating for the doctor, it can be downright dangerous for the patient. Doctors prescribe medications for a reason. Contrary to what some people think, they don’t get kickbacks or make money for prescribing drugs.
Discontinuing or cutting back on the dose of a medication prescribed for you may seriously jeopardize your health and even your life. If you’re experiencing unpleasant side effects or can’t afford the medication, tell your doctor so he can try a less expensive drug or one with fewer side effects.
2. Fail to mention vitamins, herbal supplements, homeopathic remedies and over-the-counter medications you take.
Because they can be purchased without a prescription or are labeled “natural,” you may think they’re not important and not list them when asked what medications you’re taking. Or maybe you’re afraid your doctor may be critical and not approve of what you’re taking. While some doctors may discount the effectiveness of various supplements, your doctor needs to know if you’re taking them because they can have serious interactions with some medications. Just because something can be purchased without a prescription doesn’t mean it is harmless. Fess up and let your doctor know everything you’re taking.
3. Demand a prescription for a medication advertised on TV.
It’s ok to ask your doctor if a medication you saw advertised might be appropriate for you, but let him make the call. There could be many reasons why a particular medication might not be the best thing for you based on your individual condition and medical history.
Also remember that medications advertised may still be fairly new and the pharmaceutical companies are advertising in an effort to recoup the money they spent on research and development of the drug as well as, of course, to make as big a profit as possible. Your doctor may be more comfortable prescribing a medication that has a longer track record for safety and efficacy.
4. Self-diagnose based on something you read on the Internet.
Most doctors appreciate well-informed, patients who want to learn more about their illness. But a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Sometimes easy access to medical information on the Internet leads us to feel like we know more than our doctors. However, doing many hours of research online still can’t compare to the years your doctor has spent in medical school and practicing medicine. While it’s fine to ask your doctor if a particular condition may explain your symptoms, leave the final diagnosis to the doctor. If you don’t feel her diagnosis is correct, get a second opinion from another doctor.