How is a doctor allowed to mess around with body parts he doesn't understand? If doctors were required to understand everything we touched we wouldn’t be able to touch you at all! The human body is still a deep mystery. Doctors understand more than most people, but what we know is still a vague approximation. Just because our educated guesses often work out well doesn’t mean we have any idea what’s actually ...

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Doctor D has been blogging about the  doctor-patient relationship for a while now. It’s sort of the thing I’m known for. I’ve usually been on the doctor side of this equation. Most of my blogging, however, is to help patients figure out the weird world of medicine. Doctor D recently found himself on the patient side of a nasty injury. Even as Doctor D looked down and realized his leg wasn’t ...

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If one of your patients asked your opinion of another doctor whom you know to be incompetent what would you tell your patient? Incompetence in a physician is a scary thing! Doctors deal with problems of life and death and try to heal you with dangerous tools. A doc that isn’t competent can be seriously dangerous. But how do you know who’s on their game and who’s falling down on the job? ...

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Doctor D has dodged some questions in his career, but he has also been on the receiving end of some non-answers and can attest to their usefulness on the patient's side of things. How can a doctor dodging a question help the patient? Let me tell you a story: Doctor D’s son Little D was born with a very rare genetic condition which required he see an expert at a big university. As ...

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How can patients get a straight answer from a doctor? The answer is really very simple: Don’t accept a non-answer answer from a doctor on a question that really matters to you! If you get a dodgy, vague, or useless answer don’t take it lying down. Politely insist that the doctor elaborate and clarify until you get a reply that you understand. We doctors are totally scary, but if you have to have ...

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Before he tells you how to get a straight answers from physicians, Doctor D is going to stall for time by explaining why doctors give vague answers. Why would a good doctor give useless answers? 1. There is an answer, but your doctor doesn’t know it. Don’t be hard on doc for this one. There is no MD in the world that knows the entire breadth of medical knowledge. Some docs pretend ...

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