Do Doctors Downplay Patients’ Reports Of Their Symptoms?

In a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “The Missing Voice of Patients in Drug-Safety Reporting,” Dr. Ethan Basch argues that doctors, by discounting and ignoring patients’ complaints about what they perceive as drug side effects may be ignoring data that could lead to earlier detection of dangerous drugs.
More than a few bloggers seem to have had this experience of having a doctor downplay their symptoms.
Doctors need to be more cognizant of the facts that their patients are intelligent people who know their own bodies and when they report a perceived side effect, they might be right, even if the side effect seems far-fetched. Heeding this lesson could reduce the incidence of medical malpractice and get dangerous drugs off the shelves more quickly.