Medical misinformation has become a menace in recent times: Dr Abhishek Juneja

Dr Abhishek Juneja is a well renowned neurologist practicing in Delhi. He has done his graduation from Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi. He did his post graduation from Dr RML Hospital, Delhi. He has special expertise in managing headache, epilepsy, stroke, spine and sleep disorders.

Dr. Juneja talks to THIP Media on how trust is the foundation of a doctor patient relationship and how misinformation can lead to mis-treatment.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

The best thing that I enjoy about treating my patients is relieving their apprehensions about the illness. Most of the patients tend to over diagnose their problems based on the random information available on Internet. Reassuring them regarding their illness relieves their anxiety.

When is a patient easy to treat?

An ideal patient is one who doesn’t apply the knowledge derived from online search to diagnose and treat one’s illness. Trust is the basis of doctor-patient relationship. Taking multiple opinions from various doctors spoils the broth.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

As already described, patients who apply too much information gathered from non-credible (non-scientific) sources to the management of their problems are extremely difficult to treat.

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

Very important. A learned individual who carries basic information about the diagnosis methods and treatment approach makes the things easier for the doctor. Such patients are more compliant to the instructions and follow up regularly.

How can a patient improve his knowledge about the treatment procedure (apart from consulting the doctor, of course)?

A patient can improve his knowledge about the treatment procedure by gathering information from credible websites. ‘Credible’ is the important point to note here. Sourcing information from random websites can do a lot of harm.

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

It is the biggest problem. Medical misinformation has become a menace in recent times. We, as doctors, not only have to impart the correct information about the patient’s disease but also remove all the misinformation that patients carry even before we start treatment specific consultation.

A few advice that you always give to your patients…

I advice all my patients not to check their symptoms on Internet and instead focus on improving their lifestyle by following healthy diet and doing regular physical exercise.

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