It's one thing to cough and sniffle in front of your parents when you don't want to go to school, but it's a completely different thing to fake it to an actual doctor. Man, that takes balls. What if the doctor sees right through you?
Doctors of Reddit were asked: "What do you do when you see a patient is obviously faking it?" These are some of the best answers.
1/16 Former paramedic. Fake seizure? "Oh my, it's too unsafe to move them like this. We'll have to put in a catheter first." And wouldn't you know it? A miracle.
2/16 Doctor here. Fakers are difficult to handle. Adult fakers are usually quite sad affairs, and there is really no satisfaction in exposing them.
One story is a young guy in my town who has a weird and unexplained addiction for getting a cast. Not having one, GETTING one. He has come in to different ERs claiming an injury, but there are never any objective finds. Then he usually gets a cast (since he is in pain, he gets one for pain relief), and then comes in multiple times because "he got his cast wet", "the cast hurts" and so on, and gets another one. He has done this so many times that he is now well known by most staff and doctors in the ER.
I met him once, and since I hadn't looked at his patient history beforehand, I believed him and sent him to the relevant examinations. And even if I did know his history, it would be wrong of me not to trust him, because this time the injury might just be real! It's more important for me to protect my ass, even if it means that some extra work is done for nothing (and in my country this guy doesn't pay the actual costs of having these x-rays and ultrasounds).
3/16 It's called the Jedi mind trick. When arriving on the scene of a car wreck look at all the standing victims and say "Everyone is alright, right?" This keeps the healthy from thinking hard about minor stuff.
4/16 Kid who refused to bear weight on his leg after a fall but otherwise wasn't complaining. Do two physical exams, a regular one (where they cry if you get close to it), and another one where you distract them. Sure enough when he was playing with bubbles he didn't notice me touching his leg.
5/16 Paramedic/flight paramedic. I'm one of the weird ones. Unless someone is obviously drug seeking, I tend to treat what the patient tells me, not my impression of their situation. I'm talking specifically about pain here. Our medical community has been trending towards demonizing narcotic pain control, and I think that's one of our biggest shortcomings. Adequate pain control improves so many things, patient compliance, recovery rates etc. If someone tells me they're in a lot of pain, I generally believe them and treat accordingly. Percocet, T3, Diluadid, Morphine, these are medicines people.
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