Talking truthfully to your doc -- not easy, but essential

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Comedian Rodney Dangerfield loved to complain about his physician, Dr. Vinnie Boombatz, whose careless instructions often left Dangerfield in worse condition. "He told me to run five miles a day for eight weeks," Dangerfield gripes. "I called him up and I said 'Doc, I'm 70 miles from my house!'"

Dangerfield isn't the only patient who has suffered from miscommunication with a physician ... and the miscommunication goes both ways.

From Doc to Patient: A survey published in JAMA finds more than a third of patients fail to tell their doctor if they disagree with treatment recommendations or don't understand them. That puts your health in jeopardy, and it's a major cause of hospital readmission!

 From Patient to Doc: The study also found that 80 percent of people have lied to their doctors in ways that could affect their health and medical treatment. The top reason? To avoid being judged.

What to Do: When your doc suggests treatment, make SURE you understand. Demand clear explanations. And if you have a bad feeling about something, express it! 

Now, when it comes to being honest with your doc: Your health history and lifestyle habits can be hard to discuss openly, especially if you've made poor choices, such as smoking, not exercising or drinking excessively. But you need to get that info to your doc (ask him or her not to put it in the electronic record), so appropriate care can be offered! Most docs are not judgmental; they just want to help you get and stay healthy. Trust us, we know these doctors exist!

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   (c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

                   Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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