Can Doctors give test results over phone? | Health Discussion!

Don’t want to spare minutes-long drive to get your results by hand? It’s okay, you can call your Doctor to ask about the results, but will he let you know?

We want you to understand the seriousness of your test nature, whether you went only for a “Malaria” test or you’ve some serious problem.

People often ask “can doctors give test results over phone”, they should know that for tests like “Malaria”, doctors may not notify you to come to the clinic immediately, because it’s not urgent enough to come over before the appointment.

However, if you feel okay receiving test results over the phone, then doctors co-operate with patients and let them know the good news.

Many hospitals and clinics have online websites that have features to let their patients use it to access their test results. Generally, it is preferable to give test results in person. Many doctors instruct their patients to set a follow-up appointment after going for tests, you can meet the Doctor in person and ask many questions you want.

 If some tests like CT Scan and mammogram come abnormal, more tests are needed then to be sure of the diagnosis. So if you went for those tests which may need further tests, and require the patient in person, then the phone might not help you.

Be a rational patient, consult your Doctor over the phone, and he’ll let you know if the meeting is needed or not.

A Doctor sharing personal experience

A doctor shared his personal experience at an online website; he told that a lady came to him for “CT Scan”. She was a 39 old woman with a family history of getting “Ovary and Breast cancer”. 

“Lower abdominal pain” was one of the problems with her she shared with the Doctor. She was quite worried about the results, the doctor advised her to come for an appointment after the CT scan was done.

Although she called to office staff as her appointment came near, she wanted to know the results over the phone. Seeing her state of anxiousness, the Doctor shared the results as they were negative. But sometimes, it is very necessary to tell bad news over the phone to summon the patients for further treatment.

Doctors won’t give “Biopsy” results over phone.

People ask, why Doctor don’t share some major test results over a phone? Every patient has a different psychological state; some people worry all day if test results are not told over the phone and made them wait.

Patients have to come to the hospital or clinic, and paranoid patients think the bad news is often told on the face. Hence they worry till the follow-up appointment.

However, Biopsy is generally one of the sensitive issues which need proper consultation for the patient. Doctors avoid telling the results over the phone because follow-up appointments and post-biopsy tests are also needed.

When test results are positive, and treatment needs to be started right away, it is wiser to inform the patient over the phone and arrange further meetings.

When a doctor wants to share bad news with the patients, he needs to take care of a positive attitude and some general guidelines. First, he will confirm the results; the bad news is an important stimulus for patients as it shocks their nerves out of danger, so results need to be correct. Doctors should manage free time and privacy to thoroughly convey the message to the patient.

Make sure whether the patient is free or not, ask if he is driving, or is kind of busy, so you can call later. When a doctor calls with test results, or Can doctors give test results over the phone – A question asked by patients who’re desperate to know the results.

The Doctor may call you or not, but his staff might inform you when your results are bad, and you have to see your Doctor urgently.

Doctors withholding information

In 2012, a survey was conducted by Harvard Medical School’s professor “Lisa Lezzioni”, which was based on the views of 1800+ doctors about disclosing or withholding of the info. Twenty percent of them agreed that “cases of doctors withholding information from patients” should not be made a prevalent issue.

The rest of them disclosed different views; some said: “info should not always be conveyed exactly, because patients need to hear what is appropriate at the time”. 10 percent of physicians said, they withhold the info as patients might panic if results are not satisfying, and we don’t want our patients to worry about the problem they diagnosed with.

To better understand, some doctors have shared their views as followed:

Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, MD, PhD

Sandeep said that a patient was the diagnosed congestive heart failure and he was quite upset. The father of the patient asked me not to tell his son the results altogether, so I shared the info gradually in different appointments. The ill patients are vulnerable to stress and mental distress because of the disease and they can’t digest the bad news at a time.

 If your patient has depression, you have to take care of this as they don’t understand the situation fully and panic a lot. If they have something concerning like “testicular cancer” even though I tell them, “let’s wait and see”. I might be wrong and jumping to conclusion, so don’t make your patient worry until you’re sure about the results.

 The Doctor is the Author of Doctored: The Disillusionment of the American Physician and Heart: A History, New York City.    

Dr. Ronald Epstein, MD

In his experience, the Doctor said that a single symptom can be explained in multiple ways. I’ll not conclude a brain tumor when my patient is simply having a headache, for cancer, there are other symptoms which have to add up. Some people have in mind that “can doctors give test results over phone”, hence they’re uncertain to ask from the Doctor about their results.  

Some families don’t want to let the patient know about the severity of his disease, and they ask me to hide but I ask them “if your loved one doesn’t have the right to know what’s going on with him?” I usually go with patients desire and need of the hour, I try to not to make my patients worry and cause tension.

From my side is always wait for the right time to share about the diagnosis. For the side effects, I don’t tell them all the metaphorically considered side effects rather I share what is most likely to happen, this way patients don’t go in deep thinking about the dark side and show the green light for the diagnosis to start.

-The Doctor is a Medical School professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and dentistry.

What to do if Blood Results are bad?

You’ve been feeling low for quite a long time. A friend of yours suggested you go for blood tests, and your mind may be circulating; what if blood results are bad?  Call your Doctor and ask for an advice, whether you should pay him a visit or not.

Blood tests can be done in minutes, but for results you may have to wait for several days, result time depends on what kind of test is conducted, and you must be thinking “when a doctor call with test results?” However, when you have gone for some general blood sugar, and urea level test, then it doesn’t take too long.

Although there are some factors which can halt your test results reaching to you. People ask “why would a doctor call you back after blood test?” A doctor can’t get test results if your blood came to be in lower quantity or blood sample was contaminated. A doctor can call you for a retest in these circumstances. When you went for a test in a lab which provides e-portal services for their patients, you can get your results online.

Things which delay blood test results

Doctors ask patients to have blood tests to know blood count, cholesterol level, and other things. Nutrients deficiency can be known and other medical conditions as well. Result timing depends chiefly on type of the test conducted. According to some certified medical testing department, the blood sample can be taken within 3 minutes, and results can take from minutes to weeks.

The laboratory you went for blood test will send the test results to the Doctor’s office. The Doctor may tell you over the phone or can ask you to come for in-person. Following are few blood tests explained to better understand how things can cause the delay.

Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)

This type of blood test lets doctors know about the patient’s blood glucose level, metabolism rate, kidney health, and the levels of elements in the blood, including acids, bases, and electrolytes. Doctors will tell you to fast for 12 hours before going for this test, test results come within one day.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

The CBC lets your Doctor know the numbers of the white blood cells in your blood, the red blood cells, and hemoglobin levels. Similar to BMP, CBC results also come in a day.

 Lipid Panel

Blood cholesterol level is measured in this test, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or bad cholesterol and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), good cholesterol are also measured. Water fast is advised for 9-12 hours by a doctor before the test, and test result results can be obtained in 24 hours.

These were some of the tests for your info, although there are many blood tests which can take more than a day for a result to come.  

Final Words

Doctors are different, some may call you over the phone and can give you the test result whether bad or good result, some may tell you gradually to avoid tensioning you. But if the results are worrying, then immediately you can be needed for further tests, doctors should tell you all together. Tests like “Biopsy” should be told in person to the patient. We’re hope-full that you’re satisfied with this article.


American Family Physician

US National Library of Medicine

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