Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Think Your Doctor Tells You Everything? You Better Think Again!

Researchers at the University of Michigan report that doctors rarely give their patients all the information they require to make informed medical decisions. Sometimes, when making a decision over a difficult diagnosis, the questions patients should be allowed to ask (and expect to receive complete information) are as simple as "what are my options?" However, the researchers at the Institute for Social Research found that patients hear far more from doctors about the pros than cons of medications, tests and surgeries. The researchers asked subjects about decisions they made with their health care providersover the past two years regarding some common medical issues such as screening tests for colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer; taking prescription drugs for problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and depression; and also the daunting decision to have surgery for knee or hip replacement, cataracts, or lower back pain. The study came back with some chilling results. First, the study found that 75% of the people interviewed did have to make such decisions within the past two years, making the importance of distributing information from health care professional to patient all that more important. However, doctors and nurses were far more likely to discuss only the advantages to certain treatments or procedures, while skipping the negatives. Dr. Michael Barry, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said that "The study clearly demonstrates that people routinely make poorly informed medical decisions."
David Littleman, Personal Injury Attorney, Nov 4, 2010
Addendum note: Does one need a study to know that most doctors, no matter how concerned they are for their patients, really don't know about the prescriptions they are handing out, OR any natural supplements which would achieve the same results WITHOUT any Life Threatening Side Effects?

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