Medical misinformation is that sticky glue which can ruin your health and life: Dr Neerja Gupta

Dr Neerja Gupta, Breast surgical oncologist and oncoplastic surgeon. She is currently working as the visiting consultant in Dharamshila Narayana Super Speciality Hospital, Apollo Spectra and Aakash Healthcare in Delhi, India.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

In this profession, I love the smile on my patients’ faces and their peace of mind when they are cured.

When is a patient easy to treat? 

The patients who trust their doctor and the treatment procedure prescribed by them are easy to treat. Also, positive attitude is always a great help.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

When the patient is very bothered and anxious, it becomes difficult to treat them. It’s tough to treat a patient if they don’t believe themselves or have a lack of faith on the treatment and their doctor.

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

It is very helpful. If a patient understands and has knowledge about their treatment procedure, it makes our job easier to do.

How can a patient improve their knowledge about the treatment procedure

There is no right way. Internet can lead you to multiple directions. This is why it is very important to go to your doctor and discuss about any information you received on the internet. It’s not easy to explain everything but can be done in multiple visits.

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

It definitely is a huge problem. Once a patient consumes any medical misinformation, it tends to stay with them. Then it becomes difficult to explain the right facts about the same. Also, they try to guide their own treatment instead of listening to their doctor.

A few advice that you always give to your patients… 

I always advice my patients to avoid incomplete information available on the internet. Read or watch health related content on the internet but always come back to your doctor to discuss them further.

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