Physician Practice Roundup—The hard truth is many patients lie to their doctors

A mature woman physician consulting with a patient in the doctor's office.
Doctors need to build trust with patients, as a new study shows many patients often withhold information. (Getty/Ridofranz)

The hard truth is many patients lie to their doctors

A lot of patients aren’t completely honest with their doctor and withhold medically relevant information from clinicians, according to a new study.

In two national online surveys of more than 4,000 U.S. adults, between 61% and 81% of patients admitted they avoid telling their doctors information, according to the study published in JAMA Network. Why? Common reasons were that patients disagreed with the clinician’s recommendations or failed to understand the clinician’s instructions. Patients said they did not want to be negatively judged by their doctor, did not want to hear how harmful a behavior was or were embarrassed. (JAMA)

Doctors, medical students lead opposition to Trump administration’s 'public charge' proposal

Doctors and medical students are stepping forward to oppose the Trump administration’s proposed change to a federal immigration policy.

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In Boston this week, Brigham Health doctors and employees, many wearing white lab coats, held a rally against the proposed “public charge” rule, according to a CommonHealth report.

And medical students across the country are leading opposition with a #MedicineForMigration campaign. They are urging people to comment on the proposal under which an immigrant’s use of Medicaid and SNAP would be considered in green card and temporary visa applications. Critics say the change will discourage families from seeking food assistance or health insurance. Medical students have organized a national week of advocacy that includes public comment drives and teach-ins at medical schools across the country. (CommonHealth article, #MedicineForMigration)

Study shows that chronic opioid users often receive dangerous prescription combinations

A new study, presented this week at the midyear meeting of ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), found that chronic opioid users often receive dangerous prescription combinations, even when prescribers have access to a state database that could prevent duplicate prescriptions.

The study, which focused on Idaho, found that a quarter of chronic opioid users were at risk for overdose from unsafe combinations of prescriptions for controlled drugs. Some 44% of the dangerous overlapping prescriptions were written by more than one prescriber, a review of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program found.

“Patients with chronic pain are often under the care of several different physicians to manage their different disease states,” said Catherine Oliphant, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Idaho State University and faculty adviser for the study, said in an announcement. But, given that 56% of the dangerous combinations were intentionally written by the same prescriber, the results also suggest that continued education on appropriate opioid prescribing is warranted, she said. (Announcement)

Legal action in cases against gynecologists accused of sexual abuse

Columbia University is facing a lawsuit from 17 women who say the institution failed to protect them from sexual abuse by a former Manhattan gynecologist.

The women filed a lawsuit this week against hospitals and clinics affiliated with Columbia University, saying the organization was aware of alleged abuse by gynecologist Robert Hadden, M.D., but didn’t act to protect its patients, according to The Wall Street Journal. Hadden pleaded guilty in 2016 to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching, the newspaper said. He was forced to surrender his medical license and register as a sex offender.

In a separate case, prosecutors have convened a grand jury to hear evidence about George Tyndall, M.D., the University of Southern California gynecologist accused of sexually abusing students at a campus medical center, according to the Los Angeles Times. Tyndall, accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients during three decades at a campus health center, has denied any wrongdoing. (The Wall Street JournalLos Angeles Times)

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