6. “You don’t need a prescription.”
“It always happens—especially with antibiotics,” says Shelby Karpman, MD. a“Patients have been trained through past history, through media, through friends, that if they walk out of a physician’s office without a prescription, they haven’t been treated properly. Quite frankly, there aren’t that many conditions that need antibiotic treatment. I have numerous patients who come in with cold or flu symptoms—for which antibiotics aren’t warranted—who insist they need an antibiotic. I take the time to explain that antibiotics don’t work for viruses, but a number then go to a walk-in clinic, where some of the physicians are less interested in patient education than in churning patients through. They write a prescription and the patient walks off thinking, Next time I have a cold I’ll come here, I won’t see Karpman.”
What you can do: Remember that nonmedical treatments often work as well as, or better than, pills.