Dr. Seema Sehgal, MBBS, MS (OBG), FIAMS, FICOG PGDHA, is a renowned gynaecologist practicing in Delhi. Apart from consulting in multiple hospital chains, she heads the Gynaecology department in MKW Hospital, Delhi. Dr. Sehgal talks to us about how medical misinformation and health myths create a hurdle in the treatment procedure and how patient education is important to solve these problems. What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients? It is a wonderful feeling to see a patient walking in with lot of doubts in their mind and after the treatment leaving with a smiling face acknowledging that they got cured by my treatment. When is a patient easy to treat? When the patient trusts her doctor, understands the disease and limitations of treatment, it makes a doctor's job much easy. It is important to keep in mind that even doctors are human beings and cannot perform miracles. When is a patient difficult to treat? When patients walk in with distrust in their mind thinking that the doctor's intention is to make money, it becomes difficult to treat them. Doctors take fees for the work that they do but that shouldn't make you doubt his or her intentions. That environment of distrust affects the treatment course. Such patients will never follow the doctor's instruction properly and will always get misguided by opinion from friends and what they read on internet. How helpful is it to the treatment course, if the patient is knowledgeable about the treatment procedure, benefits, risks etc.? As a doctor I feel comfortable when patient knows about the disease, because then it becomes easy to explain and convince the patient. However, the problem arises when patient takes hers knowledge to be supreme and starts arguing at every point. In such cases we spend extra energy convincing her that Internet search is not always 100 per cent correct. How can a patient improve his knowledge about the treatment procedure? By reading from credible sources. But do not just read from random websites that are not verified or accredited. If you are not sure, ask your doctor for literature about the disease. Most good doctors will want you to learn more and will suggest you to go for credible sources of information. How medical misinformation act as a problem in the overall treatment procedure? It acts as a big hurdle at all stages - in starting of the treatment, in doctor-patient trust and the overall treatment course. For example, a young girl came with her mother, I detected PCOS. The mother got worried that her daughter will not be able to conceive after marriage. This misconception made her opt for home remedies, untested treatments or running from one doctor to another, thereby delaying the overall treatment. This entire episode could have been prevented if the misconceptions did not exist or if the mother could educate herself immediately after the diagnosis. A few advice that you always give to your patients… I always tell them to read and be well-versed with their problems. But before concluding anything, discuss with your doctor. Your doctor will guide you on a case-to-case basis based on his or her experience and your test reports.