Self-Diagnosis: Should You Tell Your Doctor What You Think You Have?

Rachael Ray Show Staff
There's no such thing as oversharing information with your doctor, the "Sherlock Holmes" of the medical field, Dr. Lisa Sanders, says. Here's why.

Self-Diagnosis: Should You Tell Your Doctor What You Think You Have?

We all do it. We feel an ailment, Google our symptoms and self-diagnose. But once you've made your doctor's appointment (as you should!), should you tell them what you believe you have?

The "Sherlock Holmes" of the medical field, the woman who inspired the hit TV series "House" and the author of Diagnosis, Dr. Lisa Sanders, says yes.

"Me, as a doctor, I want you to tell me what you think is going on," she explains. "At a doctor's appointment, it's really the meeting of two experts. I am the expert in health and disease and you are the expert in your health and your disease and what's going on with you." 

"I had a patient with fever, low blood pressure, sore throat and diarrhea," Dr. Lisa recalls. "I took a good history and did a thorough physical exam. But 48 hours later, all the tests (Lyme disease, various other bacteria, salmonella, etc.) were negative. As I was giving her the results, she said, 'Oh, I think this might be dengue fever because I was just in Puerto Rico visiting relatives and everybody in the neighborhood had dengue and felt just like this.' Sure enough, that's what she had."

"How will I know what's going on if you don't share with me what you think and what you feel?" she continues.

She has a point. Always communicate with your doctor!