Saturday, October 17, 2015

When the Doctor Needs Your Help

Everyone agrees that doctors have no magical powers…. except… maybe… if you really need them…..

What if you’re scheduled to deliver an important speech or attend a wedding or visit Disneyland, and you absolutely can’t be sick? In that urgent situation, wouldn't smart doctor think deeply and come up with a cure?

Doctors love to help you, but they also want you to feel helped. If we do our best, but you’re unhappy, that hurts more than you know.

So if you want the doctor to prescribe a placebo make it absolutely clear that you will be disappointed unless you get “something.”

This happens so often that many doctors assume every patient yearns for magic. That’s why, for example, giving useless antibiotics for respiratory infections is not a sign of incompetence. Even good doctors do it.

Really, I don’t hold anything back for especially deserving patients. It sounds odd, but if you don’t want a placebo, let the doctor know. Say something like “I just want to know what’s going on. If an antibiotic won’t help, that’s fine with me.”

That sounds like you’re telling the doctor how to do his job, but many need your help.

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