When Patients LieCreated by:
If you watched this TV series, you know that Dr House loves to say this: "Everybody Lies" and I think whether it is a big or small lie, everyone really does. This is most especially true for patients. It is not always easy to determine whether the patient is telling the truth or not---whether he is telling you everything or he is conveniently omiting information from you. The other day I was doing a mouth exam on a patient and as my usualy spiel goes, I ask: "When was your last visit to the dentist?" And he said: "Just last week". I expressed my approval and continued my questioning: "What treatment did you receive?" And he answered: "I had fillings done."
At that, I asked him to open his mouth so I could record his current oral condition. I started writing things down and I realized that I wasn't seeing any filling on any of his teeth. You just had fillings done last week? Who are you kidding? I wanted to scream---"LIAR!" But I didn't anymore. I just gave him a face mirror and I pointed out all the teeth that needed fillings (and I think I pointed to all his teeth). Of course this is not the first time that I caught a patient lying to me. Sometimes it's all about asking the right questions--otherwise, you just have to figure things out for yourself.
Have you caught patients lying to you? What did you do?