A friend just sent me an interesting article from the New York Times: In Reporting Symptoms, Don’t Patients Know Best?
The column addresses whether doctors have a tendency to play down the symptoms and complaints of their patients. Apparently, research suggests that this happens quite often. The reasons a doctor may minimize a patient's symptoms are complicated:
The tendency to downgrade symptoms may be based on the doctor’s knowledge that a patient is in the early stages of an illness and could be much worse. Or the doctor may be making mental comparisons with other patients who are sicker….Sometimes the downgrading may reflect wishful thinking by doctors, who may think that a certain drug will help patients and don’t want to take them off it.
In any event, though the article is more specific to side-effects from drugs rather than treatment in general, I found it interesting. And a little scary.