I’ve heard it a thousand times. ‘The patient wanted testing done.’ So the doctor ran a blood test.
But few people really want a blood test. What they want is to know that they don’t have something horrible.
I’ve seen it a thousand times with young parents. Anxiety competes with their trust in me as we discuss what could be going on with their child. I never discount the potential value of any study. In the right context it’s the right thing. I just negotiate to defer if it seems unnecessary at the moment. If this, then that. This is thinking beyond the transactional impulse to just keep mama happy.
And no, I’m not always right. But I always come up with an approach that both of us can agree on.
Understanding what patients want is different from giving them what they ask for.
If you like this you might enjoy the 33 charts Doctoring 101 Archive. It covers some of the ins and outs of clinical practice with practical advice. Every post is followed by tags that will help you navigate to related material that you might find interesting.