Internet info isn’t a prescription substitute: Dr Prathyusha Nerella

Dr Pratyusha Nerella is a highly accomplished Senior Consultant Physician and Diabetes & Lifestyle Medicine Specialist with over 11 years of expertise in the field. With an MD in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Diabetes (FID), she has dedicated her career to improving the lives of patients with diabetes.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

One aspect of my job that I truly enjoy is engaging in empathetic conversations with my patients and empowering them with strength and confidence to navigate their situation.

When is a patient easy to treat?

Treating a patient becomes effortless when they approach the consultation with an open mind, devoid of any judgment towards doctors. Moreover, when they come well-prepared, such as having noted down their questions, bringing relevant past prescriptions and reports, attentively listening to the doctor’s advice, and carefully reading the detailed prescription, it facilitates the process.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

Treating a patient becomes challenging under certain circumstances. For instance, when a patient has already made up their mind about the diagnosis and treatment, expecting the doctor to simply approve and follow their decisions. Similarly, if a patient tends to be judgmental and quickly jumps to conclusions, labeling the doctor as purely commercial without fully comprehending their explanation. Another difficulty arises when a patient forgets to bring previous prescriptions and arrives casually for a review, providing a detailed account of what is already documented in the prescription during the consultation. Furthermore, when a patient shows a lack of seriousness towards the doctor’s advice and displays more interest in casual conversation or insists on multiple people explaining the patient’s condition simultaneously, it creates additional challenges.

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

It definitely makes our job easy. But we must always remember that the expertise acquired by the doctor through arduous training and experience gained through treating number of patients can’t be replaced by internet. We are patient enough to answer your queries. However, medical science is dynamic, and there are exceptions, difficult and different scenarios.

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

There are some authentic websites and also a lot of content that many qualified and experienced doctors post nowadays on various social media platforms. Patients can gather information about their health condition and treatment procedure from such sources.

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

Medical misinformation is a serious problem. These days there is so much misinformation around diabetes reversal. Such misinformation has led to so many patients stopping their prescribed medications. This has landed many patients in serious complications because after stopping medications they are not properly monitoring sugars, and there are no follow ups. There are similar instances in many other lifestyle diseases as well.

A few advice that you always give to your patients…

Enhance your knowledge by thoroughly reviewing content from reputable websites and exploring information shared by qualified and experienced doctors. Formulated pertinent questions based on your research and discuss them with your physician to obtain clarity. Ultimately, it is important to trust and have confidence in your physician’s expertise.

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