Angry Doctor

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Clues for the Clueless – Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – I not stupid

And I don’t mean that just because I passed med school. I mean that as in ‘just because you are stupid doesn’t mean I have no common sense’.

It’s my belief that people who don’t lie professionally (e.g. conmen, used-car salesmen, lawyers, doctors) deliberately dumb themselves down when they want to tell a lie because that’s the only way they can convince themselves that people will actually believe them.

You are not the first person to try to fool a doctor and over the years doctors have found ways to tell when someone is lying. I won’t reveal the trade secrets, but sometimes it’s just a matter of common sense.

If you have been quiet waiting outside my consultation room for the past hour but only start coughing when you enter my door, you don’t have a non-stop cough.

If you come into my room with hair all done and full make-up including eye-liner, you did not have headache, blurring of vision, and giddiness so bad that you could not go to work this morning.

If you still have lots of medicine left over from the last visit, you did not take your medicine every day like you were supposed to.

If you have put on 5 kg since the last visit, you have not been exercising AND watching your diet.

I’m not saying I can detect every single lie that’s being told to me, but please try to put in more effort when you want to deceive me. You can be stupid for all you want, but please don’t expect me to play along.

Like all functional relationships, trust and respect are important. When you lie to me, you insult my intelligence and erode my trust in you.

And really, which one of us do you think will suffer more from a dysfunctional patient-doctor relationship?


  • Maybe your patients are scared of invoking your wrath, angry doc ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 07, 2005 12:49 pm  

  • You are probably right. Patients often lie because they are afraid of disapproval from the doctor.

    My hope is to not reinforce such immature thought patterns.

    The patients need to realise that they are here for their own sake and not mine.

    If they don't want to comply with treatment and reach treatment goals, they should just say it and accept the consequences. If I think that it's not acceptable to me to treat a patient in a half-assed fashion, I should be able to suggest he sees another doctor instead.

    It's plain stupid to think that you are healthy just bacause you managed to fool the doctor into thinking you are doing all the right things when you are in reality not.

    I think the least we owe each other is honesty.

    By Blogger angry doc, At November 07, 2005 2:04 pm  

  • You forgot the patients who assure you they have quit smoking when they have a pack of cigarettes in their breast pocket!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 07, 2005 9:24 pm  

  • I didn't. :)

    Check out

    The worst are those who smell of cigarette smoke or stale alcohol and swear blind they don't touch the stuff...

    By Blogger angry doc, At November 07, 2005 9:36 pm  

  • Once I went to the doctor for very bad cough, but somehow while waiting to see the doctor my cough died down abit leh. But the doctor trusted me cos I was having panda eyes from insomnia due to my cough I guess. Clever doc!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 07, 2005 11:05 pm  

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