Doctors are famous for leaving out details. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to whose doctors only told them the feel good parts of their health issue.
It is fairly common for a heart attack victim to get stress test follow ups. When I ask them about the results I don’t believe I have ever heard one say anything worse than “the doctor was happy with it”. Of course the doctor is happy with it. He just made a bunch of money and you aren’t dead so he’ll probably get a chance to do it again.
I had one client who was told he was doing just fine with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 25%. The LVEF is a measure of how effectively your heart is pushing out blood. 25% is not “just fine”. It may be as good as can be expected considering how damaged your heart is, but just fine doesn’t accurately describe that result.
Diabetes is another area where doctors don’t all seem to want to burden their patients with too much information. In my experience probably 1 or 2 in 10 people with diabetes have ever discussed their hbA1c with their doctor on an ongoing basis. I’ll leave out the 2 and say that 1 in 10 I have talked to can tell you what the collateral risk factors are with diabetes.
This information and education is critical to the ongoing health of their patients and yet so many doctors don’t share the knowledge. I don’t know if they are afraid their patients won’t understand it, or possibly that their patients might be upset by hearing the truth.
My father has been undergoing treatment for bladder cancer and how refreshing and professional it has been to receive full and candid information from his doctors at Rocky Mountain Oncology . There is no lack of information or lack of education. It has been their stance that a well educated patient, well, they make a more concerned and proactive patient.
Bottom line. No matter what your health issue, ask your doctor to tell you all you need to know to be on top of it. Ask them if they have resources where you can learn more about it and how to manage it. If they aren’t real receptive, Google up a bunch of questions and demand answers the next time you visit them.