Do Patients Lie? 

Do Patients Lie?

From a piece on Slate by Zachary Meisel:

"The patient is having an adverse drug reaction," I announced as I walked out of Mrs. J's E.R. room holding a bottle of antibiotics that had recently been prescribed to her. The medical student assigned to the patient looked sheepish and the senior resident looked surprised. Along with the emergency-department registration staff, the triage nurse, and the nursing student, they had already asked Mrs. J. if she was taking any new medications. Yet the patient waited to tell me—the attending E.R. doc and the final and most senior questioner—about her new antibiotics.

Meisel has some ingenious explanations as to why patients only give up important details after many tellings of their history--and some sensible thoughts as to what can be done about it. But what strikes me is that he is within about an inch of the much-repeated line from House, M.D.: patients lie.

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