Difficult to diagnose: What doctors say, what patients hear

Doctor patient, communication, Dr Google, diagnosis, self-diagnose, health, hospital, patients rights, specialist
Knowledge-sharing and effective communication play a pivotal role in medicine, but this aspect is often ignored. Photo - iStock

When 50-year-old Chandra from Chennai was diagnosed with a cyst in one of her kidneys, she expected her nephrologist to give her a detailed account of the prognosis or the likely course of her treatment. But her doctor only suggested dietary changes and told her to take it easy.

"I learnt from friends that it could lead to dialysis. However, my doctor didn’t mention it and made it look like a mild condition. When I consulted another doctor for a second opinion, he told me that they will observe the progression of the condition and change treatment accordingly.”

Chandra went back to the first doctor for treatment, but she had a lurking doubt as to whether the doctor was administering the right treatment.

While Chandra approached a specialist at a corporate hospital in the city, not very far, in Saidapet General Hospital, Radha, a domestic help, had little idea about why she was being prescribed a heavy dosage of medicines. She was undergoing treatment for leprosy without being told about the condition.

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
thefederal.com and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 149