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Survey shows where doctors shade the truth

Most physicians paint overly optimistic prognoses for their patients, and many have told lies or withheld information concerning their medical mistakes and financial relationships with drug companies and device manufacturers, according to a national survey conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 2009 survey of nearly 1,900 doctors, published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs, shows that many doctors do not adhere to the standards of medical societies and accreditation groups, which have long required doctors to be open and honest with their patients.

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