Physician: "How have you been feeling this week?"
Patient: "I was pretty sick – vomiting a lot. Not sure if it was one of the meds I am on or not."
Physician: “Why didn’t you call? We could have perhaps called in a prescription to help you or changed your meds.”
Patient: “Well, I didn’t want to bother you.”
This is a sample conversation like one that Dr. Ethan Basch, who is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UNC, alluded to in a recent podcast. Many physicians regularly face similar situations because patients feel uncomfortable self-reporting symptoms associated with diseases and treatment.