New Study: Doctors are Lying to their Patients at an Alarming Rate; Fear of Medical Malpractice Suits Cited

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A newly released study presents some troubling statistics about the truthfullness of doctors and how they communicate with their patients.

According to the journal Health Affairs, more than one out of every 10 doctors (11 percent) admit to knowingly lying to patients in the past year.

What's more, researchers found that nearly one in five (19.9 percent) didn’t disclose a medical mistake out of fear of a malpractice malpractice lawsuit and more than half (55.2 percent) had "described a patient’s prognosis in a more positive manner than warranted."

The team of Massachusetts researchers who conducted the study said the results were troubling.

Researchers found some trends in the results as well: Male physicians were more likely to tell patients untruths as were those who graduated from medical schools based outside of the U.S. and Canada.

"Our findings raise concerns that some patients might not receive complete and accurate information from their physicians, and doubts about whether patient-centered care is broadly possible without more widespread physician endorsement of the core communication principles of openness and honesty with patients," researchers wrote.

You can find the full study at Health Affairs.

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