Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

It is a Doctors Job To Tell It Like It is

My mom recently had some issues with her ear that prompted her doctor to tell her she needed steroids and/or steroid injections. My mom is someone who doesn’t like to take Tylenol so the idea of ingesting something like Prednisone was completely unappealing and scary to her. However, while hopefully the situation with her ear will be short lived, it is something that needed to be addressed immediately. The ENT told her if she waited another week to come in, she could have become permanently deaf in one ear.

A blunt doctor to tell it like it is

After her first appointment, she told me the doctor recommended 60mg of Prednisone but she immediately told him she wasn’t going to do that. He then suggested steroid injections, which she was okay with. At the next appointment, she saw a different physician in the office. This doctor bluntly told her that if she didn’t at least see if the prednisone could help her, she would permanently lose her hearing in one ear. This ENT also told her that no hearing aids would help given the condition and there would be no going back.

Thankfully, the bluntness of this doctor caused my mom to begin Prednisone immediately.

We often have to take medications when we don’t want to for our condition

I was so happy with how this doctor handled things with my mom, based on what she told me, and it started to make me think about why that was. I knew my mom needed this type of medication in order to get things back the way she wanted them. I understood why she was against it. But, as we all know, oftentimes we have to do things we don’t want to do for the sake of our future and long term health.

I have enormous respect for her doctor for telling it like it was. Sometimes, with a disease or health condition that can be serious, I believe it is a doctor’s duty to inform a patient of that. I understand not wanting to scare someone, wanting to give a patient options and hope, but there are ways to do that and still get the message across.

This led me to think about those of you suffering from Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis. I know a lot of IBD patients want to try to handle their disease naturally first. Or, they are petrified of a strong medication like a biologic so they do everything else before going that route. While it is all completely understandable, it is often not the right move to make. As many of us know, new research has shown beginning on a medication like a biologic early on can help enormously with disease progression. It can possibly prevent you from needing surgery or prolong it. And, if surgery is needed, you will likely be in a better place to handle and recover.

Avoiding medications because of side effects

However, these medications are still often looked at as a last resort for patients given the potential for side effects. It is up to a person’s doctor (in my opinion) to explain everything to the patient. You can sugar coat a tiny bit but for the most part, I believe doctors should be as blunt as possible when needed.

Sometimes you do need to scare someone into understanding the severity of their situation. Understandably, many people live in denial or feel as though they can figure things out on their own so it is up to someone with more knowledge and experience to lay out all the facts. After all, if a patient does not truly understand what is going on with his/her body and the impact it could have on his/her current quality of life and/or future, how can they make an informed decision? They cannot.

What do you think? Do you prefer doctors to give it to you straight or would you prefer a little sugar coating? How have your doctors been? Are they on the blunter side of things? Do they generally leave treatment options up to you? Would love to know your experiences and thoughts in the comments!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • crystal.harper moderator
    2 months ago

    While I don’t have UC or Crohn’s, I have had to meet with my share of doctors due to other medical issues. I’ve found that there are so many different styles that doctors have and each can be looked at so differently by different people. I also like a blunt doctor, but a caring doctor is also important and hard to come by, at least in my experience. If a doctor has a good mixture of getting to the point, but also mixed with good bedside manner, he/she is a gem and rare find! Bluntness is very important though, especially in a life altering situation.

  • Poll