Why Do Patients Deny Their Diagnoses?

Of all the topics I wish was better taught when I was a medical student, learning how to recognize and address denial, is foremost among them. As physicians, we regularly encounter patients who, for one reason or another, simply don’t fully accept their diagnoses. It’s a cause of frustration for the patients, their family members, and treating clinicians. And yet, as common as denial is, it’s also something we don’t talk a lot about or acknowledge as part of the experience of illness. 

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