Don’t Lie to Your Patients!

I am a retired pediatrician, so my standards of choosing a medical professional are different than a lay person.

Many years ago, I had to see an ophthalmologist for an annoying chalazion (similar to a stye) in my upper eyelid. After I had treated it conservatively with soaks without success, I knew that I would probably have to have it injected or incised.

As I sat in his chair awaiting the procedure, he told me, “This is going to feel like a little mosquito bite.”

It was one of the most painful injections I have ever had and I jumped out of the chair and told him, “If you can’t even be honest with me, I will never refer you patients again.” I could just imagine the little children that he would lie to, and how they would blame me for sending them to such a dishonest doctor.”

This incident further confirmed my approach with patients to always be honest about any impending painful procedure.

Patients really hate to be lied to, including when the patient is a doctor!

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