Too many Doctor's Cheat their Patients.
Not a few doctors routinely cheat their patients out of something precious. I’m not talking about bad billing, although that sometimes happens. Also not talking about routinely ordering unneeded or duplicate tests, this also, sadly, happens. Doctors routinely deny their patients honest attention.
How some Doctors cheat the patient
The patient, patiently waits in the waiting room, and then patiently sits in the examination room. When the doctor finally visits the patient the visit is too often over as soon as it starts! Does your doctor walk in with the file, ask a question or two, make a note or two, check a thing or two, then with hand on door ask if you have any questions? Does your doctor give you a quick answer then beat a hasty retreat? Does the doctor make it clear, by posture and manner, that he or she is very busy and doesn’t have time for your concerns?
This kind of doctor cheats their patients out of quality time, quality attention and an important component of health care, compassionate interaction. The patient may leave with a prescription, or course of treatment, but too often they also leave with unanswered questions, confused and possibly afraid. When they get home they have no answers for their concerned family, because they didn’t get quality answers from the doctor!
The doctor is in but is very busy.
That message radiates through the entire office. Patients are conditioned to be meek as mice, undemanding and understanding of the doctor’s problem.
Huh? What about the patient’s problems? Am I going to die? Can I handle this? Will it destroy me financially?
Shhhhh, keep those concerns to yourself, as the doctor is very busy.
Let me anticipate the Doctor’s rebuttal
I can’t get through the day if I dwell on each patient. I start each day behind schedule - I thought the oath was to heal and also to do no harm? Leaving a patient confused and afraid is not healing and it is harmful. Take your time to do it right the first time.
Some patients waste your time so you have to keep your guard up - Come on, with all your training, you can’t deal with patients individually and not treat them like a herd of cows?
That’s what staff is for; I’m here for the highly skilled doctoring that I’m uniquely trained to do - Sounds a little arrogant, doesn’t it? See above about healing and not harming…
I’m a very lucky patient
I’m very fortunate in that my doctor is not a cheat. He comes into the examining room, and immediately pays attention to me. First comes the chart reading, and the doctor’s questions.
Then comes the patient’s turn.
- Any questions? Ask them.
- Read something on the Internet? Don’t be afraid to ask about it.
- Any ideas? Put them out there and he engages in a discussion.
- Have a concern? Voice it and he deals with it.
- Prescription questions? Ask them.
My doctor sits and engages with me. He doesn’t stand with one hand on the doorknob. His body language says, “I’m here for you.” Wow, am I lucky!
So why this Article?
I keep hearing from friends and family about the cheats in their doctor experience:
- The doctor that doesn’t look the patient in the eye.
- The doctor that gives short, abrupt answers.
- The doctor that is out of the room minutes after they enter.
- The patient who visits the doctor, and after leaving still has a list of unasked and unanswered questions.
Great tips for dealing with your doctor
Managing the conversation with the doctor
What can the patient do?
The doctor probably doesn’t even realize they are cheating as much as they are. Maybe the patient can take a lesson from the doctor and deal with the symptoms:
- If the doctor rushes to get out of the room, consider saying, “Doctor, I know you are very busy, but “I’m (very concerned about, very confused about, very afraid of, have a question about…)”
- If the doctor’s answer is not clear, consider saying, “Doctor, I’m sure it’s just me and my confusion, but I’m (very concerned about, very confused about, very afraid of, have a question about…)”
- If the doctor radiates indifference, consider saying, “Doctor, I know my case isn’t as big as other cases you are working on today, but I’m (very concerned about, very confused about, very afraid of, have a question about…)”
- If you are afraid of the doctor, consider taking somebody with you, preferably somebody with a forceful personality. Just the presence of a second person may help.
- If you walk in with questions, but forget them in the doctor’s presence, consider making a list of questions. Have a copy to hand to the doctor. Handwritten, not too neat is helpful as it forces the doctor to focus.
- Checkout the three videos in this article for helpful ideas on managing the conversation with the doctor
If you can’t get satisfaction from the Doctor, no matter what you do, consider shopping for another Doctor. Ask friends. The Internet can help you find a doctor through doctor referral services. . There are a lot of Doctor’s that don’t cheat their patients.
How to find a doctor
Tips for picking a doctor
Tips for finding a doctor
Don't know where to start? Spend a little time with your phone and your computer and soon you'll have a list of candidates to checkout:
- Friends – ask around your neighborhood and gatherings of friends. Ask people you know if they like their doctor. That always leads to an exchange of ideas. You’ll get some names, but more importantly you’ll get good answers to the “personality” questions you have.
- Insurance company – insurers maintain lists of physicians who are covered under your plan. These lists are often available online.
- Hospitals – check with local hospitals. They often have physician referral services. They will usually give you several names. Also, check their list of admitted physicians.
- Online – Enter the name of your city and ‘find a doctor’ in your favorite browser.
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