Survey finds many patients lie; doctors say they know it

Lynne Adkins
August 20, 2019 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A recent survey shows that 23 percent of us don't tell our doctors the full truth. 

We tell white lies or stretch the truth about our smoking and drinking habits, how much we do or don't exercise and our sexual activities. 

Dr. Christie Mousaw, family medicine physician with Main Line Health, knows her patients don't always tell her the truth, but they should because what they're hiding could matter in the health care choices made.

"Really this is a partnership. A physician who has knowledge about medicine and medical problems and a patient who can bring to the table what problems are afflicting them and together, let the truth be told and let the best treatments and outcomes prevail," she said.

She says patients may fib because they're embarrassed, want to avoid a lecture about their habits or because someone else is in the examining room with them and they don't want that person to know the whole truth.