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Doctor’s health: having a fool for a patient

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Article by Dr Karen Price and Associate Professor Chris Hogan, published in MJA Insight, 25th November, 2019:

As doctors we are always trying to improve health literacy in the community. Access to knowledge via the internet may not always give our patients relevant, accurate information. Often, all it seems to do is provide some support to people’s misconceptions and their denial.

There is an enormous push to have patients actively involved in decisions about their own health – shared decision-making – which is difficult without some level of health literacy.

The paradox is that the one group with the best knowledge about health and the most potential to be involved in the management of their own health also has some of the worst, delayed health-seeking behaviours.

That group is doctors.

With the exception of smoking and exercise rates, as a group we underperform in our socio-economic group for almost every indicator of health compared to the average community member. But in spite of this, we somehow manage to provide an excellent level of health care to our patients.

Read full article here.