Dr. Sudeep Khanna, a Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist and Internist with Apollo Hospital Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi talks to THIP Media about what makes it easy or difficult to treat a patient.
What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?
It is a great satisfaction to be able to help someone who needs it.
When is a patient easy to treat?
When the patient is ready to listen and follow my instructions, and when his questions and the overall discussion revolves around what is the disease and what are the treatment options, adverse effects and outcomes.
When is a patient difficult to treat?
When he comes loaded with knowledge acquired from Google and his neighbours. Such patients often refuse to listen or follow instructions. Usually, they lack patience to complete the treatment procedure and drop out mid-way in order to try out something other that they think is beneficial.
How helpful is it to the treatment course, if the patient is knowledgeable about the treatment procedure, benefits, risks etc.?
It may or may not make a difference. They may be able to understand the basic treatment procedure and will have few of their concerns already answered but not always. It is not always easy to understand the consequences of a complication from basic knowledge.
How can a patient improve his knowledge about the treatment procedure (apart from consulting the doctor, of course)?
If you really need to read up, go to authority websites. Read from verified sources. Do not just Google and read up whatever you stumble on. Do not collect information from social media or WhatsApp chat. That ways, you will be doing more harm to yourself than actually learning anything.
How medical misinformation act as a problem in the overall treatment procedure?
It is a very big problem. People are loaded with information these days and most of the time they do not know how to segregate it. As a result what we see is they start comparing their treatment outcome to another person with the similar disease, they will jump to unproven alternate therapies, or they will delay the treatment making it complex and life threatening at times.
A few advice that you always give to your patients…
Exercise. Your body is the only friend you have. Learn to love and respect that fact. Eat to live and do not live to eat. Sleep early. And, throw away those mobile phones.
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