Quick Opinion Poll: How do feel about your doctor? Love? Like? Tolerate?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-07-19 16:31:20 -0500
Started 2013-05-01 16:29:50 -0500

How would you describe your relationship with your physician? Before you answer that, does the word “love” come to mind?

It’s a word I hear a lot when clients are talking about their doctors. Along with a lot of other words somewhere between love, on one hand, and hate on the other.

We toss out the word “love” in relation to a lot of people, places, and things. We love ice cream. Our favorite hangout. Our living room sofa. Our family.

So yes, “love” doesn’t necessarily mean LOVE.

Awhile back, I wrote an article called, “Love me, treat me: Why you can’t expect your doctor to always say yes.” Here is the link:


If you love your doctor, what does he/she do that earns your love? Having time to talk? Being concerned, maybe with some “tough love” at times? And saying yes when you ask for something? In other words, qualities that go beyond the competence you expect in a physician?

Having said that… Looking back, any experiences when maybe all that affection for a doctor got in the way of your judgment? When maybe it clouded your judgment of the doctor’s competence?

Or, have you decided that liking – or even just tolerating – your doctor is enough? If so, what’s most important in your relationship?

I’m really interested in hearing from you!

98 replies

lanykins 2013-05-12 01:07:38 -0500 Report

I have an endocrinologist that I sort of like but tolerate at the most. He is not the least bit interested in neuropathy, which has become my major problem lately. It has gone everywhere, including my bladder and my eyes. However, my doctor does extensive blood work every 3 months and goes over that with me, gives me suggestions on diet or vitamins and he also follows up on my thyroid nodules that are getting bigger. I fax him a copy of my glucose monitoring every 2 weeks and if he wants to change my insulin dosage, his nurse will call me. I test 4 times a day. So, I think he is being thorough with keeping my blood sugars down, my A1C in a good place and letting me know if he needs to biopsy any thyroid nodules. He's not always pleasant to be with, but as long as he is keeping my diabetes under control, that is what is important. I also have kidney damage and he watches my blood work carefully for any changes. I guess we don't have to have the greatest relationship as long as he takes good care of my body, except for the neuropathy, of course. He says that is untreatable.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:10:38 -0500 Report

Hey lanykins,

Thanks for sharing what your relationship is like with your doctor. I learned a lot from reading your post.

I think that patients sometimes have to stand back and evaluate their relationship with their doctor from an objective standpoint. You doctor doesn't sound like someone you would want to out and have coffee with. On the other hand, he seems to be thorough and you are seeing results from his approach to treating your diabetes. Life is all about trade-offs, and your relationship with your doctor is a good example of a trade-off in personality for competence. In a perfect world, you would get both. But the world isn't perfect.

Take care!


lanykins 2013-05-13 08:48:50 -0500 Report

Thank you. When I get frustrated with him or even angry, I will remember what you said about trade-off, that is a good way of looking at it and will help me a lot. He is keeping me stable.

pandalays 2013-05-10 22:31:12 -0500 Report

My doctor is really sweet and understanding.He shows so much of concern and one visit to him makes me feel so relaxed.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:05:20 -0500 Report

Hi pandalays, your doctor sounds like a great guy. It's always nice to hear when doctors are caring and personable.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:05:17 -0500 Report

Hi pandalays, your doctor sounds like a great guy. It's always nice to hear when doctors are caring and personable.

Caroltoo 2013-05-10 19:52:20 -0500 Report

Mine gives me the time that I need. She never rushes, she does listen closely and with empathy. She gives me information, and lets me make my own choices. I feel cared for and supported by someone whom I respect greatly.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:03:50 -0500 Report

HI Caroltoo, it's been awhile since we have been in touch. Thanks for checking in here. Sounds like you have a great relationship with your doctor. She sounds like a real communicator. Given your background, I would guess that you also help her to communicate with you. NIce to see you! Gary

eberrios343 2013-05-10 13:45:40 -0500 Report

Well i saw my Dr. for my new blood results today. In Dec.2012 my AC1 was @ 5.9 my good cholesterol was down and my bad cholesterol was up. Well i got good news from my Dr. my AC1 is @ 5.3 and my good cholesterol is up and my bad down. My average blood sugar in Dec.2012 was 126 it's at 103 today. I was diagnosed 8 months ago how am i doing?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:02:07 -0500 Report

HI eberrios, Wow! That is good news. Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself! Thanks for checking in!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-12 23:01:56 -0500 Report

HI eberrios, Wow! That is good news. Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself! Thanks for checking in!

Peterdean 2013-05-08 17:00:22 -0500 Report

I really like my dr. she is interested in what I have to say & try's to work with me. I always look forward to our visits

tweetynj62 2013-05-08 12:32:12 -0500 Report

Absolutely LOVE mine! He doesn't preach or rant, asks me what's going on in my life (and remembers on the next visit), suggests modifications, and trusts me to manage my diabetes and ask questions if I have a problem, as long as my numbers/health are good.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-10 13:52:04 -0500 Report

Hey tweetynj,

How are you doing, neighbor? (I live in NY.) Your doctor is a real communicator! You've got all the bases covered.


Kati1972 2013-05-08 11:27:11 -0500 Report

My doctor refuses to see me anymore due to my fear of needles, even the pen didn't help me because it's still a NEEDLE

Kati1972 2013-05-10 21:35:11 -0500 Report

I'm moving to West Virginia, hoping to find a dr that will work me through my fear of needles and will actually care about ME. Haven't seen a dr.now in 3 months, moving in less than one

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-10 13:28:38 -0500 Report

HI Kati, I am not a physician but just want to say that I hope you are taking good care of yourself, and your diabetes. Have you thought about getting some counseling for your fear of needles? It might be something to think about. Gary

JSJB 2013-05-08 10:50:44 -0500 Report

Haven't seen him in awhile but he put me on the right track to getting my BG down and will continue going to him when I run out of meds. Only time my BG falter is when I screw up on diet like last night but they still read low.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-10 13:26:29 -0500 Report

Hi JSJB, it's been awhile, my friend. Sounds like you and your doctor have a good routine in place, and that he is standing by when you need him. Thanks for checking in.

camerashy 2013-05-07 19:41:14 -0500 Report

I like my doctor OK. I have only seen him a few times, but he seems to know what he's doing. And he has a sense of humor, but he will also tell me when he thinks I could do better.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-07 21:19:55 -0500 Report

Hi camerashy, a sense of humor can be a good thing, along with straightforwardness. Sounds like you are off to a good start.

camerashy 2013-05-08 18:19:26 -0500 Report

Thanks. I was without a doctor for over a year because I just had so much trouble finding one that I got along with.

Brownbuny4340 2013-05-06 22:59:00 -0500 Report

I like ny doctor she answer all my questions I can email on the weekends and she will answer me on the weekend she takes her time with me and never rushes

Rick719 2013-05-06 21:34:26 -0500 Report

My wife and I have a great doctor. She keeps up with us through appointments, but is also available through phone calls and emergency appointments. She always returns our calls the same day. She listens to us, asks probing questions, keeps up with our blood work, etc. She has many patients, but acts as though you are the only one. If you call after hours and get a doctor on call, she always takes the initiative to follow-up. My wife, Judy, had a good endocrinologist before but switched to this one whom I had because of the personal attention.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:21:50 -0500 Report

Hey Rick,

Great to see you. Your doctor sounds like an excellent communicator, and very patient-focused. We need more like her!


Lentyl 2013-05-05 19:48:52 -0500 Report

I have an excellent GP who is notably willing to listen but also very supportive of my work to bring my BG's under control. My comment to him was that I visit him to get advice, etc. on what I need to be doing but that it is up to me to do the work. It isn't his responsibility to "make me better". I take a pro active approach that turns my appointments into a team effort. He's the coach and I'm the player in this. I would recommend him to anyone.

I think that we go overboard with the word "love".

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:20:22 -0500 Report

Hi Lentyl,

Thanks for sharing your wisdom here. Sounds like you and your doctor have a great professional relationship. That is a very empowered attitude on your part.


Meggan Tedford
Meggan Tedford 2013-05-05 15:07:33 -0500 Report

I love Dr Paker and all his wonderful nurses and support staff. They have all been so helpful and supportive! I love that he talks to me about the decisions he's making when we try new medicines and makes sure I understand why he's doing it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:19:13 -0500 Report

Hi Meggan,

It sounds like you hae a great team in place. A doctor who is willing to talk and explain his decisions is a real find. This is so important in diabetes, where the patient has to play such an active role in the treatment. If doctors and patients aren't talking, doctors can't do their job effectively and patients are at risk.

Thanks for checking in!


dbreidenbach 2013-05-05 08:00:14 -0500 Report

I have a great relationship with my PCP. She has done more for me in helping me get my diabetes under control. My previous PCP would say I didn't need to test my blood glucose, it wasn't necessary. He would also say there was no reason to visit the podiatrist unless there were symptoms of neuropathy. The only way he would listen is if I demanded he do. I'm grateful that because I was eligible for medical assistance through the state, I never would have found my doctor.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:15:47 -0500 Report

Hi dbreidenbach,

Nice to meet you! It's so important for medical professionals to be thorough, esepcially when a patient is newly diagnosed and is still learning how to take care of themselves and what questions to ask. Somebody has to be the expert, right? I am glad you have a better relationship with your current doctor, and that she is a better communicator.


BB42 2013-05-05 04:59:09 -0500 Report

I've know my doctor since he was a medical student in my anatomy class. I respect him and feel very comfortable talking and listening to what he says. He has been an absolute angel in helping me deal with my diabetes

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:12:22 -0500 Report

Hey BB42,

Nice to see you again. It must be interesting to be treated by one of our former students. More validation that you are making an impact!


Anonymous 2013-05-04 21:18:59 -0500 Report

My endocrinologist utilizes PA's and although she is wonderful I LOVE one of her PA's more. We both try to see each other for my apps.

Nana_anna 2013-05-04 17:50:47 -0500 Report

I have had mine since 2005. He is the one who told me that I was a prebe, the a year later he diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes. I wouldn't say love, but I respect well as a phyician. He has been good to me, and I have no complaints, thus far.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:09:57 -0500 Report

Hey Nana,

Respect is an important part of the relationship, developed over time. Hope he doesn't have too much attitude!


jayabee52 2013-05-04 14:24:55 -0500 Report

My current PCP I don't see often enough to really know him well. I do need to get back on course and get my diabetes care back on track. I can't really fault him for that. I now am back on dialysis and need to get the rest of my medical care back on track.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:08:30 -0500 Report

Hey James!

Great to see you!!! I like the way you said this. Doctors need some help from their patients in doing their jobs, sounds like know what you need to do. I hope the dialysis is going okay for you, that you are feeling good.

Thank you for checking in!


eberrios343 2013-05-04 13:01:09 -0500 Report

I'm looking for a new Dr. to meet my needs. Right now i tolerate him. Eight years agog he told me i was border line diabetic but he didn't what i should do in order not to get diabetic he just said lose weight.
He should have told me not to eat bad carbs,sweets,soda ect it's bad for you. If so i would have like i have since being diagnosed with diabetic. He dose not tell me what's my target range on the numbers.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 22:06:12 -0500 Report

Hi eberrios,

I can understand your frustration here. I hope you find someone who communicates with you the way you need to be communicated with. That's an important part of the relationship. Nice to see you!


Nana_anna 2013-05-04 17:54:58 -0500 Report

Most Dr. do tell you that right off hand. The other medical staff will do. I didn't know much about diabetes, but through out the years I have learned, the dos and don'ts, by reading or educating myself. But yes, he/she should have got you started toward the right path.

Ebony Faith
Ebony Faith 2013-05-04 11:59:41 -0500 Report

I've been seeing my PCP for over 20 years. He was fresh out of residency and actually knew something about chronic pancreatitis. He saw me through several near death experiences and also got me to the best specialists. He is now seeing patients with vascular issues and he is booked out 5-6 months. Because of our history, he keeps me as a patient and will work me into his schedule within 2 days, if needed. Those appointments are what I call a "drive by". He sails in and out pretty fast. I miss the relationship I had with him.

My endocrinologist, on the other hand, is awesome. I'm a really complex patient (diabetic, gastroparesis, iv nutrition and thyroid issues). She calls me her hospital inpatient that she lets out on a day pass every day. She has two PA's who are also awesome.

The best thing about my medical team is they are supportive of my using chiropractics, acupuncture, massage, etc to manage assorted issues.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-06 08:47:01 -0500 Report

Hi Ebony,

Nice to meet you! And thanks for checking in.

Very interesting story. I have often talked to patients who told me about connecting with a really great young doctor, only to be "left behind" as the doctor became more specialized. It says a lot about him that he is willing to make him so available to you, but it also says a lot about you as an involved, empowered patient. But I understand that "drive by" feeling. The current system leaves a lot of doctors and patients feeling that way.

Your endocrinologist really sounds like a gem. It seems to me that endocrinologists need to be good listeners and willing to communicate with their patients, given the important role that self management plays in diabetes care. Listening and talking, spending some extra time, makes their jobs easier. Along with being open to complementary approaches.

Thanks a lot for sharing here!


jbyrd519 2013-05-04 08:38:29 -0500 Report

Well, I am new at this but I do love my doctor. She is wonderful and much more than just my PCP. She use to be my employer, so I know exactly how she treats all her patients, including me. She does have time to talk and if she does not have an answer she will send me to a specialist that will help. Also, for jojowm, don't be too hard on the doctor at first. A lot of the doctors, especially if they are older, are having to learn how to use a computer and electronic records. I agree with Dr Gary, that you should bring him/her questions and let them know how you feel. I would bet more often than not they probably do not realize that what they are doing. If things don't change after being up front with the doctor I would look into finding one that is a better fit for you. Sorry you are not getting all the answers you are looking for and I hope the road ahead of you gets better.

jbyrd519 2013-05-04 08:37:51 -0500 Report

Well, I am new at this but I do love my doctor. She is wonderful and much more than just my PCP. She use to be my employer, so I know exactly how she treats all her patients, including me. She does have time to talk and if she does not have an answer she will send me to a specialist that will help. Also, for jojowm, don't be too hard on the doctor at first. A lot of the doctors, especially if they are older, are having to learn how to use a computer and electronic records. I agree with Dr Gary, that you should bring him/her questions and let them know how you feel. I would bet more often than not they probably do not realize that what they are doing. If things don't change after being up front with the doctor I would look into finding one that is a better fit for you. Sorry you are not getting all the answers you are looking for and I hope the road ahead of you gets better.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-04 09:08:16 -0500 Report

Hey jbyrd,

Nice to see you here!

Sounds like you have a great relationship with your doctor! What a benefit to have been able to get to know your doctor before you started seeing her as a patient. And an interesting point you bring up here. I have also found that some of the older doctors are not so computer literate, and need some patience as they adjust to this new technology-driven world that we live in.

Thanks for checking in!


jojowm 2013-05-03 13:12:38 -0500 Report

Not quite sure how I feel about my Doc yet. Have only had 2 visits with him and he doesn't seem to be very talkative, or informative, although he does talk to his laptop alot. lol After my second visit he said he may want to add Victoza to my med regimen, but he wanted me to see a dietician first. When I was leaving the girl at the front desk said that he didn't want to see me until July. What gives? Dietician doesn't seem to think it is my diet that is causing my BG roller coaster so why does he want to wait until July? I just don't get it. I am wondering if he even talks to the dietician.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-03 18:52:11 -0500 Report

HI jojo,

Nice to see you. And thanks for sharing this.

Hmmm... What you described with your doctor is something I hear a lot. I wish doctors understood how their patients feel when they seem to be interacting with their laptops more than they are interacting with their patients. And it has to be frustrating to be sent to a dietician and then not be sure if he is following up or not.

What I would say is that if you need to talk to him, don't hesitate to make an appointment. Bring a few questions with you, along with whatever you heard from your dietician. Let him now you need more dialogue with him. He may need the direct approach.

I am glad you checked in here. Please keep us posted!


Set apart
Set apart 2013-05-03 06:04:29 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary, I guess I haven't been at this long enough to love my Endo., but it took me going through 3 doctors before I found him. I spend a lot of time with Mimi, my CDE, she's pretty awesome, always listens, then Dr. B comes in and listens or reviews bloodwork. I guess I consider myself a bit fortunate, it seems as if patients that may not be taking care of their D get to spend more time with the doc. I also have gained so much respect and some love for my PCP, who is still kind of new to me, but I just found out he raised a son with T1, that gave me a sense of relief, because he isn't only talking from books, he's been in the D world, he has seen his son experience lows, he knows what I'm talking about! Thanks for this!!!!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-03 18:47:36 -0500 Report

Hello Set apart,

Nice to run into you here. It's been quite awhile since we have been in touch.

What a great relationship you have with your doctor and it sounds like he is able to extend his level of contact through a great CDE. That's a good team to have. And I am sure that having a son with T1 makes him that much more sensitive to what patients living with diabetes are dealing with. A great sense of reality.

Thank you for sharing this!


sNerTs1 2013-05-02 22:46:14 -0500 Report

Thanks Gary for your poll :) I love my doc, he's mine! LOL Seriously here, I do love my doc and I respect his profession too. I grew up in a household that had a rule "if you want something different than what is provided to you, you have to debate it, with good reason and it will be put to the vote" Not uncommon in a household of 6 children and only 1 parent working outside the house. I use that in every aspect of my life now, including my doctor. He knows to be prepared for me because when I come in, I will be armed with questions and we will debate it out. He listens to every little thing I talk to him about and then tells me his opinion. He works WITH me all the way through. I also know my doc on a personal level as well as profession as I had worked with him in the past. He knows how I feel about the "God" mentality that a lot of physicians out there have. We all put our pants on the same way!

I love that I can contact him through his nurse every day they work and there is someone on call when he's not there. I can drop an email and get an answer within a couple of hours or if I need anything urgently, I can call. I know Im lucky in that aspect. When he confirmed I was diabetic, he knew I would want as much information as I could grab onto. He gave me references, books he had read and thought I should too. When I went back and told him I had read it and applied the suggestions he said "I have no clue why I am surprised by this but I am, lets see how your A1Cs are" and they were great already. I told him Im owning it and he said he will help own it and together we have a plan to get me healthy.

I consider myself fortunate to have him and I let him know that. Too many times we complain about the people surrounding us and overlook the good things they do for us …

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-03 17:23:54 -0500 Report


Your doctor sounds like the posted child for what all doctors should be like. He's really amazing. Listens, makes himself available, helps you to get informed, open to your ideas, negotiates with you. He totally teams up with you. And makes sure somebody is there for you when he is not around. Incredible.

I agree, you are fortunate. Thanks for sharing this.


Sarfari4 2013-05-02 13:51:42 -0500 Report

I really like my endocrinologist. She's perfect for me. I like my general internist but he didn't give me any info; just tried to put me on medication which I'm doing fine without, so far.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-03 17:03:26 -0500 Report

Hey Sarfari,

Glad to hear you have a specialist who is working closely with you to tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs, and not a one size fits all approach.