When a doctor becomes the patient


imagesCALETB1C A doctor friend told me the following story, “I’ve read of doctors’ experiences as patients, living through and sometimes dying of life-threatening illnesses. But there are many other doctors who experience less serious conditions. I am a doctor and when my condition began, I followed the recommendations I have given every single one of my patients in the same situation, but, after a few days, my condition persisted. Nothing I did seemed to help and I found it hard to believe that it simply was not getting better.”

“I consulted with my colleagues, with nurses and surgeons about my problem and was amazed at their remarks. I made a note of them all. Make no mistake, their comments were all well-intentioned and of the same type that I have made countless times to patients in similar situations.”

‘Oh, it can’t be that bad!’

‘It probably started a while ago and maybe you did not notice the symptoms.’

Don’t be so upset. It’s only a minor problem. You should hardly be aware that you have it.’  ‘”BUT”, I replied, “even though it’s minor, it’s driving me crazy.”

“It’s so minor that it does not even fulfill the criteria for treatment,” another colleague insisted.

Until this happened to me, I’d prided myself on my communication skills and here I am being schooled on what it means to have a ‘minor’ condition. When I recover sufficiently to return to work in my clinic once more, I will try and remember that no matter how minor I think the patient’s condition is, to the person concerned, it is painful and frightening, depressing and very real.”

When he was done telling me his story, I thought about some of the things that have occurred to me, so here is my opinion on some doctors. Whenever a doctor gives me or someone in my family a diagnosis, I always reply with a question; “Would you say or do this to your wife if she were suffering from the same condition?” I have never received an answer because I know that everything is a big issue if a doctor or someone in his family is suffering. Then, and only then, does it become a big deal.

While I am on this subject, have any of you noticed that when you walk into the doctor’s clinic/office, he is usually still busy writing and saving the previous patient’s information on his computer and does not look up at you when you walk in? I think that a doctor/physician can tell a great deal from watching his patient carefully as he/she enters. . .something to think about.

 

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One thought on “When a doctor becomes the patient

  1. MAUREEN KEET

    This so very true!!!
    I worked for a Dr. for many years…I told him I needed to have surgery and he told me it is not worth it “it does not work”
    What if it was his wife or daughter, would he say the same thing?????

    Reply

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