Time: White Coats, White Lies: How Honest Is Your Doctor?
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Is your doctor telling you the truth? Possibly not, according to a new survey in Health Affairs of nearly 1,900 physicians around the country.
The researchers found that 55% of doctors said that in the last year they had been more positive about a patient’s prognosis than his medical history warranted. And 10% said they had told patients something that wasn’t true.
About a third of the MDs said they did not completely agree that they should disclose medical errors to patients, and 40% said they didn’t feel the need to disclose financial ties to drug or device companies.
Really? The study’s lead author, Dr. Lisa Iezzoni, a professor medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, was surprised to learn how mendacious her colleagues were. “Some of the numbers were larger than I expected they might be,” she says.