Is no news really good news?

Jessica Tomcheck
Jessica Tomcheck

Throughout time, mankind has been told that “ignorance is bliss.” Sayings date back to the times of King James I who stated in 1616 that “No news is better than evil news.” However, if you look deeper into the connotations of such sayings and think about what they are implying, do you genuinely agree?

It is human nature to be curious — to be concerned when something is interfering with your well-being. It is difficult to ignore the unknown when something valuable is at stake because of the lack of seriousness displayed by those whose duty is to nurture those whom are less than well. If someone is concerned enough to see a doctor, no news is not always perceived as good news. Instead, it can add unneeded paranoia on the health concern at hand.


And what kind of expectation is it for someone to ask of you to brush off something that has you worried just so they don’t have to take the necessary actions to calm your justified nerves? We all have a more intimate connection with our personal situations than the professionals we seek assistance from, but don’t we have the right to be? Something has been hindered in the life we hold dear, and in our vulnerable state we reach out to those who we believe can help return equilibrium.

When it comes to what keeps you on a healthy balance in your life, it should be respected to be persistent and strive to get answers when something has become disarray. Recognizing that something isn’t how you feel it should be and reaching out to people with the training and knowledge to help is much better than letting your imagination destroy you through self-diagnosis.

The Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. discovered that around 35 percent of people self diagnose themselves with ailments via surfing the Internet. Although it is always an easy portal to “answers,” shouldn’t we still have the opportunity to get accurate diagnoses from doctors in reasonable timing? The press of a button is undoubtedly faster and cheaper — but when worrying about a health condition, it is always wise to see a professional that can analyze your individual situation rather than impersonally giving you a broad answer that anyone could relate a “symptom” to.

The confidence that we place in authorities shouldn’t be abused by faulty personal service and communication between healthcare professionals and their patients. With the faith and vulnerability that comes along with each patient entering a doctor’s office, they should feel assured throughout their entire stay and beyond that they have placed themselves in trustworthy hands. After all, no one sees a doctor and pays medical bills to continue to be blind to what is happening with them. With that said, shouldn’t doctors hold up their end of the bargain and inform patients right away of their findings?

Jan Hoffman of the New York Times mentioned in an article that: “The excruciating limbo that follows significant medical tests is nearly a universal experience for patients. Doctors do not always ease patients’ anxiety.” Health care professionals are constantly accused of failing to call and deliver news swiftly, and occasionally even lose test results altogether where the patient never has the chance to discover what they we searching for — answers.

Once someone uncovers what it is that is out of the ordinary, he or she can plan the next steps to recovering. Without such information, said person is nothing more than a lost sheep, trying to survive on its own.

An example of an unanswered medical inquiry would be my father’s impressive heart attack due to five clogged arteries about a year ago, which he has scarcely heard from his cardiologist regarding any check-ups for his health. And although many would argue that not hearing for a cardiologist is a good sign, this major health concern should be monitored to prevent repetition.

No one’s mind should be his or her worst enemy. What an injustice it is when madness can be molded because of another person’s incompetence to how he can help those in society by utilizing the skills and knowledge he has built. And what a shame — that such time and learning is starting to be seen as a waste simply because health care professionals are not giving the hospitality that their patients crave.

Confidence in a professional should not be something that causes society to second guess who they should automatically trust.

Jessica Tomcheck is a freshman psychology major. Letters and feedback can be sent to