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I have frequently been dismayed by how doctors don’t share information with their patients. They seem to have some 7th sense that lets them know whether a patient will be able to understand the information, so it goes in their records and comes back to bite them in the rear years later when a life insurance underwriter, who does understand it, uncovers the information.

I am currently working with a client who is quite athletic and sees his doctor regularly just because it’s the right thing to do. Several years ago he had an echocardiogram that if you just glanced quickly at, you would say he was the perfect picture. But buried in the middle of the narrative summary was a reference to AI, cardio for aortic insufficiency.

His doctor never mentioned this to him, and while it may not have been medically significant in the whole context of things, AI can have some serious risk factors. In my mind this is another case of a doctor who should have mentioned it, educated the patient concerning it, and let the patient make a decision about the importance in their life.

Bottom line. The only way to keep up with what is really going on with your health is to review, after each visit, what your doctor puts in your records. If you understand that offhand comments like the one described can cost you substantial money down the line, possibly your doctor can decide just how important it is to have that mentioned in your records.