Ever wonder what's in that manila folder with your name on it?
Your doctor has one on every patient... and if your doc is like most, he'll never leave you alone in the exam room with yours.
Turns out that folder might have a lot more than test results, insurance information, and the names of your spouse and children. It might even have a few secrets about your health -- so secret not even you know about them.
A recent survey of doctors finds they're not always forthcoming with their patients, even if a surprisingly large number are weirdly honest about how often they lie.
More than half -- 55 percent to be exact -- admit to telling what generously could be called a "white lie." They say they give their patients a more optimistic prognosis than actually warranted.
I get that. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, and maybe some of them believe positive thinking will help.
If it ended there, maybe I could live with it. But it gets worse.
Nearly a fifth say there's no need to be honest in all situations, and 11 percent say they've lied in the past year to a patient or a patient's parents.
In addition, just over a third say there's no need to always tell a patient about a medical mistake (y'know, just in case the patient doesn't actually notice). And 20 percent say they've made a mistake they didn't tell the patient about in the past year alone.
They say they're too afraid of being sued to be honest. I say they're in the wrong line of work.
Believe it or not, the bad news doesn't end there, either. Nearly 40 percent say there's no need to tell a patient of any financial relationships they have with drug companies or the makers of medical devices.
In other words, if your doc is prescribing you a new med, don't expect him to come right out and admit that he's being paid to promote it.
That means it's up to you to ask -- even if it makes you uncomfortable -- and hope he tells you the truth.
And while you're at it, maybe you should ask for a peek inside that folder, too.