Doctors, Society, Treatment

Dealing with Difficult Docs

“Stop complaining, it’s just a headache.”
“There’s really nothing you can do about headache/migraine, so figure out how to live with it.”
“Headache/migraine is a given with your type A personality.”

Arrogant, rude, dismissive, patronizing, dismissive, judgmental, indifferent — a difficult doctor is troublesome whatever adjective you use. Generally a patient’s recourse is to rant with friends and not see that doc again. But the doctor rarely connects the cause and effect, or even notices when a patient doesn’t return.

Wednesday’s New York Times article in the “Being a Patient” series describes medical groups that are trying to fix the problem by polling patients and reprimanding (or even docking pay of) doctors who receive low ratings from patients. Other courses of correction include having offending docs shadow doctors whose patients give them high marks or attend counseling and training sessions.

1 thought on “Dealing with Difficult Docs”

  1. What a fabulous idea!! More doctors need to learn how to be compassionate.

    The University of Washington has started an acting class to teach med students how to make the patient know that they care even though they’re focused on clinical issues.

    It sounded appalling at first, but it makes a lot of sense. I think most doctors do care, but they get caught up in treating diseases instead of people. It’s a coping mechanism for all the horrors they see as well as being jaded by the reality of practicing medicine.

    And then there are the total jerks.


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