Since starting my new job, because I don’t have a full panel of patients yet, I have naturally been seeing more patients belonging to other docs in my clinic when they can’t get an appointment with them. Most of the time, they are grateful to be seen by me, even though their doc is not available. But sometimes they come in so angry with their doc for whatever reason it may be, ready to chew my head off:
“He doesn’t listen to me.”
“She made me come in today just to get my refill.”
“He gave me a bogas medicine that doesn’t work.”
“She couldn’t help me, and I doubt you can do anything, too. I don’t know why I even came in.”
“I hate doctors.”
Ok, I get it. You are mad at your doctor. Sometimes it’s a legitimate concern, and sometimes it’s a misunderstanding; and ok, so sometimes it’s completely warranted. But why are you angry with me before you even meet me? I am a nice person, gosh darn-it. And I am eager and willing to help you.
I don’t walk into the exam room mad at my second patient just because the first one gave me a hard time. I don’t carry that emotion into that next visit with me. I don’t generalize and think that “all” patients are mean and nasty just because a few are a tad less than courteous. In the same way, not “all” doctors are mean and nasty just because you had a few who were a tad less than courteous. We are all people – patients and doctors alike. We all deserve common courtesy.
We have feelings, too. It makes our jobs so much harder when we meet patients who are very angry. It can really make or break our day. We become doctors because we like taking care of patients, and generally have big hearts. We care. Really, we do. I can’t say we are perfect, because nobody is perfect, but we do care and want to help.
So before you walk into your next doctor’s appointment (especially if it’s a doc you’ve never met before) please remember that doctors are human, too.