How many times have you filled out the form at the doctor’s office and lied? Everyone raise their hands (Bueller? Bueller?). Yeah, me too. And I’m a doctor. Why do we do this? Hey, there are some very personal questions on these forms! And you want your doctor to like you and not judge you. You may be engaging in behaviors you know are risky to your health but don’t want to face. You may have secrets you’ve never told anybody before and don’t feel like sharing now. You may be too embarrassed to mention something. You may be afraid your partner or your boss or your mother or your insurance company will find out something about you you’d rather they not know. I hear you.
Does it really matter? Do you really need to tell your doctor the truth? ‘Fraid so. WebMD just interviewed me about this very topic, so I thought I’d share the notes I made for my interview with them. Here are some common things people don’t tell their doctors and some thoughts on why it’s important that we know.