We asked the question “What Do Doctors Do to Annoy You“?
We were overwhelmed by the response. Dozens of visitors to the Web site offered some very frank opinions.
Now it’s the doctors’ turn to express their point of view about patients in an equally candid forum. One patient offered the following response. We welcome health care providers to provide their own comments to the question in the headline:
“This kick-the-doctor is getting a bit old and turning into a real pity party. Some of these complaints should have been addressed on the spot, such as wrong charts, assuming something about the patient, too much information too fast, reading from a script.
“What about patients who:
* Don’t know what meds they are taking or why. No wonder patients are asked to bring in the bottles to the office. My doctor gets a list that I keep up to date. (HINT: Keep it on Google Docs and you can access it anywhere you have internet access.)
* Don’t do their own research on their health problems. All too many either don’t question the doctor or, even worse, ignore what the doctor tells them.
* Quit taking antibiotics when symptoms go away even though they should take the whole prescription.
* Ask for antibiotics when they have a virus with no sign of a bacterial infection.
* Don’t take notes or come with a list of questions.
* Show up late for an appointment.
* Don’t ask for clarification when they don’t understand what was said.
* Don’t realize that doctors have their own frustrations about things they cannot control, such as a higher patient load just to stay even financially. Doctors (especially GPs) have a staff that expects a paycheck regularly, so a doctor is also a small business man and all the stresses of that as well as being a doctor.
“About a year ago NPR (I think This American Life) had a 4-part series on medicine and what I got from it is that we are all part of the problem of spiraling medical costs. Patients demand all the latest tests, when maybe they don’t need them all; doctors run defensive tests in fear of getting sued; insurance companies get dinged for being hard-hearted when they are trying to control costs and make a profit; and bureaucrats (in medical offices, insurance companies, and government) try to invent rules to cover everything when common sense and clear thinking would help more.
“Pogo in the comic strip said it so well so long ago. ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.’ The enemy in this case is spiraling health costs.
We welcome comments from health care providers, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants and anyone else who cares for patients.