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Too many Doctor's Cheat their Patients.

Updated on July 2, 2016

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!

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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.

What oath?
What oath?

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.

Doctors and Patients, books available now online


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    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      I agree, I have switched doctors because of this, thanks for writing a hub about it, wonderful.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Funny I just found this. I went to a doctor at Mayo Clinic on Thursday. He walked in the room gave me no real answers as he pushed me out the door he handed me his card. I stood in the hall wondering which way I was supposed to go to find my husband. After I left I thought of all the things I should have said to this doctor. The rudeness he showed was unbelievable. Oh by the way I waited an hour and a half for him to come in the room. I took a nap. Voted up on your interesting hub.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      thank you for sharing this insightful piece with us. We really need to be proactive and realize that we are responsible for our own health care as it relates to the kind of care we receive.

      I have shared this hub in one I wrote,

    • Joe Bricky profile image

      Joe Bricky 6 years ago from Northern Nevada

      This is very good information. Too many people are intimidated and/or believe doctors are omnipotent. Your article will help a lot of people. Good Job.

    • profile image

      Prashanth 7 years ago

      Really a great post that helps patients know important factors to follow at hospitals, Thanks for the informative post.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      Tammy, I did not know about the required minimum time spent for a Medicare claim, but it makes sense. Yes, nurses get it right more often than doctors! Appreciate your nice comment, your being a pro and all...

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Excellent advice...I think doctors need to take a lesson from nurses to learn how to deal with patients. They are required to spend 15 or 20 (not 100% sure which) minutes with a patient especially if they are making medicare claims. They never do, but they document that they do on their claims. I have yet to have spent 15 minutes with a doctor in a doctor's office.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      Nell, thanks for the feedback. So some doctors on the other side of the Atlantic ignore their patients - must be a universal condition!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 years ago from England

      Hi, this is really strange! I was just about to write a hub about doctors ignoring you. my brother visited the doctor today because he had trouble breathing, asthma attack, and the doctor just looked at him and said, well it is better now! Grrrr... so I was really mad. Thanks for the good advice. cheers nell

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      Thanks Jeff, In troubleshooting computer problems we tend to check out the obvious first, and then go to the alternatives if the first pass doesn't resolve the problem; guess it would be the same for doctors. The issue here is that the patient "lives" the problem!

    • Jeff May profile image

      Jeffrey Penn May 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Excellent advice. While I do often have to wait, it's only because my doctor tries to take time with each patient, and often gets behind. Even so, he is quick with the pills and, at least to me, seems to overlook alternatives.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      K Partin, thanks for the nice comment. Agree that weaker doctors get uwitting help from their patients. We too often become silent robots in the doctor's presence. The good doctors want us involved.

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Hey j great hub. Unfortunately doctors cheat their patients too often. It happens in fraudulent billing practices too. Patients have to really check over their insurance bills and EOB's to be sure the doctor is truly billing for the service they received. So many patients feel oh well the insurance pays for it and don't even bother to check. That's why the insurance is getting so out of hand. Patients need to be more aware of this and turn these doctors in... Thanks again K.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      Suziecat7, thanks! I don't mind the need to be business like; just want the doctoring element to include quality communications for the benefit of the patient.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Doctors are business people. That's the bottom line. They have bills to pay. This Hub is so accurate.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 8 years ago from Cave Creek

      sheila b. It's good thing it was a routine visit. Sounds like her focus was an area she should have delegated to staff.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 8 years ago

      I recently went to a doctor for a routine physical for work and realized she had absolutely no interest in me, only in getting the paperwork done. She was very organized and efficient about it. But worthless as a doctor.