Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Can you really trust your doctor ?

The secret of getting good medical care rests upon being able to trust your doctor - but how do you know if your doctor is really trustworthy ? There are 3 types of doctors:
1. honest and competent
2. honest and incompetent
3. dishonest

All of us would like to find a doctor who is honest and competent; and all of us fondly imagine that our own personal physician is in fact honest and competent ! But the sad fact is that some doctors are neither - and it's very hard for a patient to judge !

Thus, going by reputation or hospital affiliation is too dicey ( for example, the Head of the Department may be the head just because he is the hospital trustee's son-in-law ! ) A good bedside manner also is not enough ! Honest and incompetent doctors have excellent bedside manners, but poor clinical skills - and can mess up your treatment !

The most dangerous doctors are the ones who are dishonest. They may very well be competent and technically skilled, and they often have an excellent bedside manner ( because they need you to trust them unconditionally); but they only have their own interests at heart.

The only way to protect yourself, is to follow the axiom , "Trust, but verify !". You need to countercheck your doctor's recommendations , and this is why time spent doing some homework and research on the net or at your public library is so important. If what he says is corroborated by trusted authorities, then you can afford to be more trusting !

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