Even if you like your doctor, it can be hard not to think of him or her like your parent sometimes. On one hand, sure, you want to feel your best. But on the other hand, does this person really
need to know how much weed you smoke? It turns out the answer is, basically, yeah — but not always for the reason you think.
"One of the most important parts of seeing your doctor is building that relationship, someone you can confide in," says Albert Ahn, MD
, clinical instructor of internal medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. "Developing that relationship makes the whole thing more effective."
For instance, Dr. Ahn says you're much less likely to ask those lingering "Oh, by the way..." type questions when you don't feel comfortable around your doc. But those are often the kind of issues that have an easy fix (such as simply cutting back on the over-the-counter painkillers if you're feeling a little constipated), or the ones we're most annoyed about forgetting to bring up.
Still, there are some sensitive issues or questions that we're not so excited to answer honestly even when our doctors are totally chill. Indeed, a recent survey from NetQuote
found that, although most women tended to be at least mostly
honest with their doctors, the number one reason for lying was a fear of being judged. But Dr. Ahn assures us he's heard those (potentially embarrassing) questions many, many times before.
However, if you really don't feel like you can be honest with your doctor, or you feel like you've brought something up and been judged for it, it's time to move on: "If you’re not comfortable talking about your personal issues, it may mean you need to find a different doctor," says Dr. Ahn, "and there are a lot of options." You may want to try taking your question to a specialist (e.g. your gyno) or different kind of primary care provider (e.g. a nurse practitioner
For now, though, we're going to assume you're cool with your doctor, but that there may still be a few sensitive issues you haven't exactly found a way to bring up — or you feel like your dishonesty is just a harmless "white lie." Click through to see seven things doctors wish we'd just get over and be honest about.