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Thu 14
“I only need the prescription” and other phrases doctors can’t stand to hear

“I only need the prescription” and other phrases doctors can’t stand to hear

If you go to your doctor’s office knowing exactly what you have and “only passed by to pick up the prescription of the antibiotic”, you should read these tips before your next appointment

Sandrah Guimarães

Doctors’ offices are one of the safest places for patients to ask any questions on how the body functions, how did they get a disease and which medications and treatments are recommended for the specific symptoms. Still, the repeated frequency of such questionings has been alarming doctors. For instance, patients often come to their offices with a self-diagnosis, asking only for a prescription. Or, instead, they arrive with “diseases” that are much more related to popular myths than science. Check out some phrases doctors can’t stand to hear anymore, and rethink your next appointment.

“I just need the prescription, doc!”

This is the most common phrase said by parents who enter the office of pediatrician Ana Paula Miller Musial. According to her, parents frequently arrive with a prescription ready for their sick children, even before the doctor gets to see them.

“You take a deep breath, say you will examine the child, if he or she really needs an antibiotic. You explain everything, and say that you will give the best medicine available in all the medical literature. What’s best for the child, and not for the mother. It is a daily game of patience,” says the pediatrician.

“My daughter never gets hungry”

The child enters the doctor’s office eating sweets, and the mother complains that her son is never hungry. This scenario is more common than it seems. “I look at the child eating and ask if he or she has an appetite for chocolate, pizza, soft drinks. The mother, obviously, says yes. What she wants is a magical medicine that will make her child crave for vegetables and fruits, because her child obviously gets hungry!”, explains pediatrician Ana Paula Musial.

“Sometimes we order exams to show that they are doing fine, and explain that chubby children are not healthy children. Children must eat well, because overweight children are more likely to become an overweight or diabetic adult,” explains the pediatrician.

“I have a thyroid problem, that is why I can’t lose weight”

Even though the hypothyroidism prevalence rate in Brazil is between 4 and 10 percent of the population, the frequency in which its diagnosis appear, appointed by the patients themselves, in the office of endocrinologist Fabíola Yukiko Miasaki, is alarming. “Then they drink this or that tea, take laxatives and drink diet sodas, but keep eating pizzas with stuffed crusts. There are no miracles,” the doctor points out.

The endocrinologist explains that hypothyroidism can, indeed, affect metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight. But, once the problem is under control the metabolism is normalized, and it is not usually the most frequent cause of weight gain.

“The person recognizes he or she can’t live without sweets, and then blames the thyroid. It happens all the time”

“My son doesn’t like to dilate the pupil”

Since children can never stand still in the offices of ophthalmologists, it is a common practice to dilate the pupils of young patients, as explains ophthalmologist Claudia Regina Lourenço Lucas Bochnia.

“I can’t stand it when mothers say their children don’t like to dilate their pupils. They have no psychology. They must dilate it, period. I play with the kids, tell them that they will be able to see things like Spiderman, which is something very cool. Parents need to calm down their kids, not frighten them,” explains the expert.

Another constant complaint made by parents is how much their children are attached to electronic devices, especially cell phones. It is no surprise, then, that doctors are witnessing an increase in cases of myopia among younger patients.

“The right thing to do is using [electronic devices] one hour per day, and play outdoors two hours a day, to avoid developing myopia. But the parents say: ‘oh, he really does stay on his cell phone for a long time, he won’t let go of his video games. But the parents should be the ones imposing the limits,” warns the ophthalmologist.

“Must I take the whole medicine?”

Another common scene witnessed by ophthalmologists is explaining to glaucoma patients that the treatment cannot be interrupted. “They run the risk of losing their sight, and be forced to use eyedrops for the rest of their lives, but they simply stop using the medication. ‘Oh, I didn’t think I needed it anymore’, they say.”

“I had a case of a driver whom I diagnosed with advanced glaucoma, and I told him to retire. He simply stopped using his eyedrops. Of course, the disease worsened,” explains the doctor.

“But I already put some ointment”

For some patients, the magic formula lies in the ointment they have at home, which has worked on other occasions. “Dr. Google is also a hit. Patients arrive saying they’ve done this and that which they have already seen on the internet,” reminds dermatologist Franck Bobato.

Other common doubts mentioned by patients were also listed by the doctors:

  • Patients who ask for a sick note, even when there’s nothing really serious about their condition.
  • Patients who ask for prescriptions that are completely unrelated to the problem or the doctor’s field of expertise, including controlled medications for their friends and relatives.
  • Patients who complain about delays, with no concern for urgent cases which had to be addressed before themselves.
  • Patients who can’t describe what they’re feeling, what they want, nor which symptoms they have, waiting for the doctor to guess.
  • Patients who describe in minute details a problem they had years ago, and has already been cured.
  • Patients who contact their doctors outside office hours, in night-shifts of public hospitals, where there is a long waiting line.
  • Patients who, whenever a doctor asks what they are taking, answer: “a tiny yellow pill and a large white one”, without even knowing what they are for, presuming the doctor will find out by their colors.

 

READ IT IN PORTUGUESE:

“Só preciso da receita”e outras frases que os médicos não aguentam mais ouvir

Se você já chega no consultório médico sabendo exatamente a doença que tem e “só deu uma passadinha para pegar a receita do antibiótico”, precisa ler essas dicas antes da próxima consulta