On the Doctor-Patient Disconnect

By Michelle Lowes, MD PhD EmpowerMyHealth helping people make informed decisions in health and illness So you’ve been feeling unwell for a while, and you finally go to your doctor, who listens to your symptoms, does a physical exam and then says, “let’s do some tests.”  She doesn’t give you any idea what your aches and pains might be, but says, “call me for the results in a few days.” Nervously, you call back and speak to the receptionist, who tells you the doctor is busy and will call you back later that day. You wait for the call, which comes when you are in the middle of a meeting, so you can’t pick up. You call back again. When you finally stop playing phone tag, your doctor tells you, “Well, the lab tests are in, you have panosis [1]."  She starts to tell you what panosis is and how it’s treated, and she will call in a prescription at your local pharmacy. However, you are still trying to digest that you have panosis, and you are really not listening at all. You say “thanks” and hang up, bewildered, scared, anxious. You immediately google panosis, and check out the online