People lie

In 32 years as a family physician, I’ve learned a thing or two about people, including some things that I just don’t want to know. Other things I try to forget.

There’s a hard, painful truth that Covid-19 has brought back into the lives of healthcare professionals. People lie. We all understand why they lie, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Setting up Covid-19 testing protocols based mostly upon personal history is a recipe for tall tales. When I tell someone “You can only get a test if you’ve traveled”, suddenly they just got back from Rio. I don’t check Passports. What’s even worse is when I tell patients “I can’t have you in our office if you have a fever, cough, and just flew from Wuhan,” and boom, they got an earache in Plano. The fact is that when patients are frightened and desperate, they will lie. And to help someone they love, they’ll look you stone cold in the eye when they do it. A lot of healthcare is trying to fill in the blanks to make a decision. Our job got a whole lot harder when the internet’s already told patients the right answers. Or in this case, the wrong answers. We need to all tell patients the truth. If you lie, you might die. #Covid19 #physician #coronavirus #familymedicine #physicians #healthcare #medicine #nurses