Doctors Must Explain Lab Results To Patients


Being a doctor in this country, is one of the most difficult jobs, because of the doctor-patient ratio, doctors are often stretched beyond their limit.

Like being in the ministry of God, being a doctor, is also a calling only a few accept, because of the uncompromising and often difficult positions one has to face every day, especially watching life fade before your very eyes.

Many of us can’t even stand the sight of watching an animal being killed, let alone a human being.

In as much as we recognize the sacrifice, doctors have to make, we also find it a bit disturbing that, doctors, do not explain to patients, what is
wrong with them.

Prevention, we are taught is better than cure and so if doctors, take their time after attending to a patient and explain to him or her, what exactly is wrong with them and the causes, it will go a long way to prevent the reoccurrence of such sickness.

One thing that is refreshing is that, doctors today, adhere to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), guidelines that, a patient must run a lab test before being treated.

What good is a medicine, if the patient does not know, what he or she is suffering from and what might have caused it.

These days because of networking, patients get to come home with the lab reports, as doctors pick it directly from the lab, but do the patients understand what is on the reports?

The onus lies on the doctors or the Physician Assistants (PA) to explain to the patients what the report says.

Doctors in private hospitals try as much as possible to engage the patients, but the situation is different in government or public hospitals, because of the numbers, but that being said, it is no excuse for not spending about a minute or two, to explain to the patients what the lab results say.

Handing over the lab result to the patient and telling them to go and pay for their medicine is not the best way to enhance our health care delivery.

Things are being done better in other jurisdiction and we need to learn not only by quoting it, but by practicing.

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