Medical Misinformation can create resistance to evidence-based medicine: Dr Chinmay Kulkarni

Dr Chinmay Kulkarni is an MBBS, DPM, and is currently working as Consultant Psychiatrist at Curatus Mindcare Clinic in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

I love to see the happiness that patients experience when they get better.

When is a patient easy to treat?

When a patient has good insight, i.e., when they accept the mental health issues faced by them, it becomes a lot easier to treat them.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

In many cases, mental health problems may lead to certain physical issues. And patients don’t agree with it, and therefore, they don’t get ready to get treated. This makes the job difficult for us a lot of times.

How helpful is it to the treatment course, if the patient is knowledgeable about the treatment procedure, benefits, risks etc.?

It is helpful as knowing the basics of treatment is often important as in such situations, patients don’t resist taking medicines for their conditions. However, too much unverified information can lead to challenges. Patients may read about side effects of certain medicines prescribed to them and might reject them. Patients should always discuss their concern with their doctors instead of blindly believing whatever they read on internet or hear otherwise.

How can a patient improve his knowledge about the treatment procedure? 

Reading content from authentic sources helps. Often patients fall prey to absolute lies spread on various social media platforms. Any information received on the social media must be checked through reliable sources.

How does medical misinformation act as a problem in the overall treatment procedure?

Medical misinformation is one of the most important problems in healthcare. A lot of messages carrying fake information floats around on the social media. The main advantage that these fake messages have is over-simplification of complex health related information. This appeals to people and they fall prey to such misinformation. Reading such information also gives a false sense of being an expert that creates increased resistance to evidence-based medicines.

A few advice that you always give to your patients 

I always advice my patients to refer to reliable sources and discuss with me before believing anything from social media. Also, it is better if people don’t depend on social media platforms for health-related information.

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