Fake for Real: Help your patients win this game

By Karrie Hoover

Seven years ago, I was blessed with a baby boy. Every stage of life with Jack so far has been fun (I’ll keep you posted). But second grade has been one of my favorites.

I can almost see his brain at work. It never stops. And neither do the complicated questions. What is an atmosphere? How does a plane get off the ground? Why do some people die young? If the government can print money, why don’t they just give everyone as much as they need?

He came up with these questions all on his own. But others he stumps me with are courtesy of a game he plays at school called “Fake for Real.” The gist of “Fake for Real” is you’re posed with questions and possible answers. It’s up to you to figure out which answer is true and which are myths or common misconceptions. If you’ve never played, you would be surprised at how hard it can be! Even the elementary version is tricky.

The latest round of questions have been about St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s test your knowledge:

  1. Patrick was Irish. Fake or for real?
  2. Clovers can have four leaves. Fake or for real?
  3. Green is the color St. Patrick is known for wearing. Fake or for real?
  4. Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish dish. Fake or for real?

You’re ahead of me if you answered those without consulting SIRI. And this was an easy round. I only had to conduct one search to find the answers. (Thank you historychannel.com.) But it can take longer than you expect. Sifting through so much information takes a lot of precious time to get at the truth.

It occurred to me this is how patients probably feel when seeking health information — overwhelmed with advice from multiple channels and not sure what to believe. As healthcare marketers and communicators, we have a great opportunity to use our digital media channels to debunk common health misconceptions and provide real, useful information in a fun and friendly way. Check out this blog from Emory Healthcare that aimed to do just that.

And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll save you some time and give you the answers. You’re welcome.

Answers: 1. Fake – St. Patrick was not born in Ireland  2. For Real  – most clovers have three leaves, but a rare clover (which is why they are perceived as lucky) can have four 3. Fake – St. Patrick is known for wearing blue. Celebrating with “all things green” came as a result of the four cleaf clover being the known St. Patrick’s Day symbol  4. Fake – corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional irish dish – this tradition arrived as immigrants of many different nations lived together in America.