5 Common Lies Patients Tell Their Doctors

No one likes to go to the doctor. Chances are that you would put it off as much as possible until you just can’t anymore. Your doctor may have to check your blood pressure, weigh you, listen to your breath, run a blood test or administer some other tests to diagnose you. In order to make the diagnosis as accurate as possible, the doctor also needs to ask you some questions because the answers can suggest what is wrong with you. It is crucial that you answer doctors’ questions as honestly as possible.

Unfortunately, a lot of people end up distorting the truth because of embarrassment and because they want to avoid getting a lecture. Sometimes patients forget or just assume that the doctor doesn’t need to know something so avoid telling the complete truth. Lying, no matter how small the lie, should be avoided because it can have a great impact on your diagnosis and treatment.

1. “I Have Been Diligently Taking My Medication”

Lying about taking medicines

One of the most common lies that doctors hear is about the medication that patients have been taking. Patients tend to fib when it comes to how long or how often they’ve taken a medication. This usually happens when they forget to fill a prescription and do not take the medicine for a few days or even weeks. You might think that this is not big deal, but if the doctor believes that you have been taking the medication when you haven’t, and not getting the expected result, they may unnecessary increase the dosage of your medication or even recommend a surgery. The doctor may even try testing for underlying causes that you know aren’t there.


patients may forget or lie about certain medicines that they take occasionally like vitamins, painkillers or sleeping pills. Doctors should know about every medication that you take because you never know if any of them will interact with the drugs that the doctor prescribes.

2. “I Quit Smoking”

Lying about smoking

A lot of smokers lie about smoking when their doctors inquire. This little lie can be quiet grave because smoking, while you are on certain medications, can interfere with the treatment. For example, a doctor would prescribe a different, more aggressive medicine to a smoker with bronchitis than a non-smoker with bronchitis.


the doctor knows that you are a smoker, they would recommend a smoking cessation program that would help with the addiction. Another reason that the doctor needs to know whether you smoke is because your risk of stroke, heart disease, lung disease, and other health problems would be increased if you are a smoker.

3. “It’s Not That Bad”

exaggerating or downplaying symptoms

Patients may consider it just a little white lie to downplay (or even exaggerate) their symptoms. There are multiple reasons why a patient would do this; to avoid being fussed over or to get their hands on controlled medications for example. If you are not completely honest about your symptoms, the doctor may give you a wrong diagnosis which can harm you.

“I Follow A Very Healthy Diet”

lying about how healthy their diet is

The lie about eating healthy is one of the most common ones. It is potentially most harmful to those with health conditions that are impacted by their diets; for example, those who have high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity. It’s best to tell your doctor if you have been cheating on your specialized diet so that they can modify it to one that you can realistically manage. The doctor should have a clear picture of your eating habits for them to decide the best treatment for you.

5. “I Don’t Drink That Often”

 lying about drinking habits

Lying about how much and how often you drink is common among patients. Alcohol could dangerously interact with medications that your doctor unknowingly prescribes you, so make sure that your doctor is made aware of how much and how often you drink. If you have claimed that you do not drink, the doctor may be puzzled about your symptoms, leading him/her to put you through expensive tests.


a patient, you may be embarrassed with the fact that you haven’t been following your doctor’s instructions or didn’t come in to see the doctor earlier. No matter what the reason, it is crucial that you don’t lie to the doctor, no matter how small the lie. You never know what information will make a difference in your diagnosis and thus your health. Since the truth will come out sooner or later, isn’t it better that you tell the truth to begin with so that you avoid expensive, time-consuming tests?