Self-treatment can cause long term health risks: Dr Annusuiya Gohil

Dr Annusuiya Gohil, BAMS, has an expertise in treating patients with hormonal and bowel issues and does counselling programs for the same. She is currently based in New Delhi, India.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

The best thing about treating patients is that it gives me a chance to improve not just professionally but also as a person. It has taught me patience and ways to deal with people in general.

When is a patient easy to treat?

When a patient comes with an empty mind, it becomes easier to treat them. Patients who are ready to follow what is told by their doctors without any preconceived notions is the best thing a patient can offer.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

There are a lot of things that make the treatment difficult but the most common among them is the patient self-treating themself on the basis of unverified information available on the internet. I face this a lot as many patients come to me who already took some medicine based on some information they found on the internet, which may lead to serious health complications.

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

Patient being knowledgeable about the treatment procedure, benefits and risks has its own pros and cons. It becomes easy in a way that the patient does not resist the treatment when they know about the benefits and risks. However, it sometimes also makes the treatment difficult as the patient may hinder the treatment process because of incomplete understanding of the procedure or its impacts.

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

To improve their knowledge, patients can read authentic articles published in reputed medical journals or other reliable sources.

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

Medical misinformation is a serious problem, and I feel it is one of the major problems that both doctors and the patients face currently. As a result of misinformation, patients these days undergo treatments just seeing the momentary benefits ignoring their long-term risks. Medical misinformation also leads to a lot of patients fearing harm.

A few advice that you always give to your patients… 

One advice that I give to everyone regardless they are undergoing some treatment or not is to pay attention to their diet. Don’t eat excessively or very little just because someone says that is the standard amount of food one should have. Consult your doctor before taking any such steps.

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