Being Mean or Being Realistic ?

By MAYS Latest Reply 2010-03-25 01:30:53 -0500
Started 2010-02-17 20:37:25 -0600

Why is it that when we go to our doctors when we are sick or feeling under the weather we expect miracles ?

Yet when they say something or tell us what we don't want to hear our feelings are hurt ?

Are we seeking help or compassion ?

Honestly speaking, when you visit your doctor is he \ she being mean to you or simply being realistic concerning your health \ condition ?

41 replies

Least 2010-03-24 23:24:50 -0500 Report

Hmmm, my problem is not usually with Doctors behavior/attitude but incompetence! After having diabetes for nearly twelve years you start to learn "some" of the ropes, and unfortunately many Doctors haven't. When I get a Doctor that doesn't behave professionally or "ask" the right questions, I move on.

I am seeking help, (though kindness is nice too :), so, that is number one. Often I have found that my "rougher" sounding Doctors are the ones with the best experience! I keep working with them to figure things out until we actually have an understanding of one another. The first time I visited the Doctor I have right now I thought he was off his rocker. He made so many changes in my regimen without so much as a "by your leave" that I was scared to death!

Once, slightly befuddled by his tactics, I called him a "loose cannon", and boy he's never let me live that down. Every email comes signed "A.K.A. Loose Cannon". I really appreciate his humor and can honestly say he's one of the best Doctors I've ever had! His approach is aggressive, but, it works. And he keeps me on my toes. I really want to do well because he wants me to do well. I want that good "report" card every three months when I go for my A1C.

MAYS 2010-03-25 01:30:53 -0500 Report

I am so glad to hear that you and your doctor have such a great relationship, one that may seem rough on the outside to others, but is actually filled with care and mutual respect between a doctor and a patient !
I also love your attitude towards dealing with diabetes in a head - on fashion, you are doing well and will continue to do well because the both of you see the same goal, and are both determined too make it happen, I know that he's just as happy as you are to see a good report card every three months on your A1C test results !


GabbyPA 2010-03-22 15:35:09 -0500 Report

Truth is truth and no matter the delivery, it needs to be looked at with an open mind by both patients and doctors.
Now, with that in mind, my first visit for diagnosis was horrid. I had already self diagnosed for over 9 months and finally found a clinic that would take me, as I am uninsured. The Nurse Practitioner was so bad. My questions were answered with "all diabetics need this" or curt and "I have no time" vibes. I was so angry. I knew what I had, I wanted help. She was not helpful at all.

So I told them I would not see her again and got hooked up with a doctor there. He was not sure what to make of me at first, but once he realized that I wanted help and I wanted to do well...our relationship blossomed. He is truthful with me and I am not afraid to confront him or ask him why he is doing certain things.

the NP was doctor is truthful. There is a difference and you should know the difference and not be afraid to stand up if you are treated mean. BUT don't confuse truth with being mean. Truth will help you, mean will not.

mythiclover62 2010-02-18 14:45:18 -0600 Report

My feelings on this subject are: we need both honesty and compassion. We expect to be told the truth with a touch of sweetener with it. Like the song from Mary Poppins, "a spoon full of sugar helps thew medicine go down". But in our case, sweetener. We all want to hear the truth and know what is happening to our bodies and lives, but we don't want to be told quite so bluntly. There is a tactful and gentler way to say most everything.
I have had Drs. that were very compassionate and caring and I have had some that were caring, but didn't really show it. It all depends on their disposition and experiences. Also on the patients disposition!

imsuzie2 2010-02-19 02:31:43 -0600 Report

Hear, hear!

MAYS 2010-02-20 18:52:08 -0600 Report

I agree but you must also understand that doctors do not want to become " Parents " to their patients who at times want to be parented to, it sounds harsh but it's reality !

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-02-18 13:15:29 -0600 Report

I hate to sound sexist, but I have had better luck with a woman doctor then a man. They seem to listen better and understand what I'm trying to tell them. I really love the doctor I'm going to now. Had her for 10 years. Hope she's around for the next 20.

Roy531 2010-02-18 13:35:26 -0600 Report

Most women do have better luck with women doctors. Women usually feel more confortable talking about certain things with another woman instead of a man.

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-02-19 20:02:31 -0600 Report

It really has nothing to do with being comfortable talking to them. I just feel they listen better and really take an interest oin whats going on with me. Too many ( not all) male doctors seems to make me feel I'm wasting their time and have better things to do besides listen to what I have to say.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-18 15:15:13 -0600 Report

I agree, I have seen a woman Dr. since I was 14, but that's because I just feel more comfortable with them.

MAYS 2010-02-18 15:29:59 -0600 Report

The comment cannot be viewed as sexist, although some may think so, it's a matter of personal preference, make the choice that you are comfortable with, just be realistic when making this decision, never pick a doctor who will say what you want to hear !

donna13 2010-02-18 16:30:37 -0600 Report

My sister went to a woman dr. in a small town. This dr. took really good care of her husband and ignored my sister. When she found a lump on her breast she asked to get authorizaiton for a mammograph. The dr. said it wasn't necessary, and my sister was in her 60's at this time not a young girl. When her nipple became inverted, she again asked for authorization. The woman dr. said that didn't mean anything. Sis called the hospital and said she wanted the test, they told her she needed authorization. When she explained everything they got a dr. on staff to authorize it, and she did have cancer. The woman dr. said I wasn't aware of the signs. What made me mad, was Sis kept going to her. She said she took good care of her husband. My sister is now 89 and survived the breast cancer, and has moved away from that town. She seems to have a caring dr. now.

imsuzie2 2010-02-19 02:30:44 -0600 Report

That woman doc needs to go back to medical school!!! I am so glad your sister kept pushing and did so well! Hugs

donna13 2010-02-19 08:09:26 -0600 Report

At the time my sister was going through this her daughter was battling breast cancer. She didn't make it. So Sis knew pretty much what was what. No, her daughter wasn't living in that town, was in a big city and received better care. Oh and this was in OK and TX, not IL.

imsuzie2 2010-02-20 03:43:12 -0600 Report

Donna, I am so sorry for your loss…

My late sister was on top of things and still didn't win the battle. We thought she beat the breast cancer and lost to the stomach cancer, but it was determined the stomach cancer was a metastases from the breast cancer that took some time to grow. She had state of the art medical care in AZ for the breast cancer and LA for the stomach cancer. It was just very aggressive…

Deborah L
Deborah L 2010-02-18 08:09:27 -0600 Report

There's a saying "It's not what you say but how you say it". I've had different doctors tell me the same things and I can tell which ones are not caring, (just getting through the day) and which ones really care but know I need the truth. Most do tend to respond better when I show I'm concerned and willing to do my part to get well. One way I show that is to go in ready with a typed list of questions, one copy for them and one for me so we can get through it all timely. They all appreciate that because it shows I care about their time and needs too. Mutual respect can go a long way. But if they're total jerks, I just find another doctor. LOL

MAYS 2010-02-18 08:19:46 -0600 Report

Excellent method and procedure, it should be practiced by all patients !

Deborah L
Deborah L 2010-02-18 08:45:23 -0600 Report

Thanks Mays. I forgot to add that "…it's how you say it" applies to me too. Doctors don't like to hear us whine, argue, etc. I try to sound a little bit intelligent, concerned, open minded, and respectful when I'm there. LOL

MAYS 2010-02-18 08:54:27 -0600 Report

Respect and honor go a long way in all relationships especially when there is a title involved, regardless of how we may feel, that title of " Dr. " was earned and should be shown respect.
There are many titles in life, some great, some small, some honorable, some not, but they are there, some earned, others just given but all should be respected.

Roy531 2010-02-18 09:05:40 -0600 Report

I feel as with everybody their respect should be earned, maybe totally wrong with it, but have been to some doctors that I did not respect at all due to the way they treated me. Just like earning somebody's trust. Can't trust just anybody but it has to be earned. I have a lot of respect for my doctor due to the way he treats me and shows concern. I guess you could respect the title but not the man

MAYS 2010-02-18 09:56:00 -0600 Report

My exact point indeed, you don't have to respect the individual, respect the title or the uniform (ask a judge) !

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-17 23:36:06 -0600 Report

When I go see my Dr. I want to hear the truth, although most of the time it seems to be a punch in the gut, however I am looking for some kind of compassion also. My Dr. doesn't say "sorry", instead she says what's up, describes my issues and answers my questions and she helps me with meds, so I know she cares. I have seen another Dr. and he told me what was wrong with me, sent me to the RX and that was that, no compassion.
When you are working with people, especially in the medical field, I think it's good to show compassion to a certain extent, it shows they care and they're going to do the best to treat you. But my feelings never get hurt when I get bad news or she when she gets on my case because I know she would be a little irritated only because she cared. It's hand in hand, to me. Am I totally off subject here? Sorry my mind is going fast tonight and I can't stay focused…

Yolanda S.
Yolanda S. 2010-02-17 22:48:10 -0600 Report

Why is it that physicians have "practicess"?

Yolanda S.
Yolanda S. 2010-02-17 22:50:28 -0600 Report

Realistically they have very few bedside manner courses in med school. The discipline should, but does not really call for it. Besides, some can be geniuses but personality is just not a qualifier!

MAYS 2010-02-17 23:01:24 -0600 Report

We want them to help us get better, not make us feel better, ( in order of preference ) or so I thought !

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-17 23:29:12 -0600 Report

My therapist told me that she calls it that because with every patient she learns something new, like a new way to deal with anxiety that her patient brought up and when you treat people physically or mentally, everyone is a separate individual with separate needs and no bodies or minds are alike, so working with a variety I'm sure teaches them something new every day, probably small things, but it's something.
This makes no sense, does it!? I'm sorry, I can't get it out right, in my head it makes sense. Now that may not be why they call it a practice, but that's what she said…she's a therapist and they put things in weird prospectives.

Yolanda S.
Yolanda S. 2010-02-18 09:13:48 -0600 Report

I meant that tongue-in-cheek, sorry! But I am glad it made for such insightful comments.

I really think it is the way things are said, and the fact that MDs don't all have the gift of gab.

If you have an endo, who just blurts things out, and you allow it to hurt you, it is probably time to find one that is just as good but does not hurt you. They do exist.

Because I have a few health issues I can tell you that I have found that endos are not usually good with bedside manner. Most of them are very blunt and feel they need to do this for your wellbeing. If you can, just don't take it personally. You could also try talking to him/her about it. If it still affects you, like I said before, try a new one.

MAYS 2010-02-18 09:50:55 -0600 Report

I fully understood and understand, no offense taken ! :-)

I agree that it opened things up a bit, allowing for a difference in opinions and perspectives on the subject, and I thank you for your comments and the various directions that this discussion has taken as a result of them !
" Mays "

imsuzie2 2010-02-19 02:24:17 -0600 Report

Sometimes I think some doctors are a bit "cold" to distance themselves from patients so they don't tear their heats apart…some see so many sick patients.

My step-bro is not as warm a person as I would like in everyday dealings, but I have seen him with my dad when he was suffering from dementia and at the end of things too, and he was compassionate and caring. I think it is part of a doctor's survival mechanism. If my doctor does not have a connection to me, I move on.

Today I saw a new eye doc referred by my PA (the practice anyway). The office was huge with lots of people waiting, and I though "here we go again…assembly line practice" I signed in and sat. Within 5 or so minutes the receptionist called me up, did the office stuff and as I was signing the credit card slip, I was called back to the next waiting room. Next wait was under 10 minutes to the preliminary work-up. The kid doing it impressed me with the history and questions asked. Very thorough. Next wait was again under 10 minutes for doc's nurse who took me back, did her thing, and got the doc. Very impressed until doc came in. Said hi and started the exam . I joked when she came back in the room as the exam started "oh, I see your chaperon has come"' and she said no, "body guard". She and I chuckled and nothing from him. He dictated to the nurse thru the exam. When I asked him to decipher what he was telling her, he said healthy eyes. No disease but either infant stage or toddler stage of cataracts starting. No disease just age (or was it the nurse who said age?)…and out he went. Nothing. A little bit of the nurse saying my reg eye doc was more "glasses" oriented and their practice was more disease focused, but the exams were almost identical. Not impressed and back I go to my reg eye doc!!! I went for a second opinion due to some floaters that were not the normal once in awhile…he said no evidence of floaters today.

I need a doc that connects to me. Gives me a hug or at least brings out my desire for a hug because we connected. If not, I look for a new doc.

MAYS 2010-02-19 02:39:53 -0600 Report

Sometimes it's hard or maybe even better for a doctor to be distant from a patient … many patients, some following instructions, others not, coming daily wanting to be cured when most cures start with self first and continue with self help and self dedication.
I am not justifying a doctors distancing themselves from a patient but they are carrying the burdens of many patients lives on a daily basis plus their own.

It's not as easy as most people think it is :-) !

imsuzie2 2010-02-19 02:48:17 -0600 Report

I understand it is a fine line. It is my thing, but since I do connect with my doctors, and work with my doctors, there has to be some warmth. There is a commercial from Cancer Centers of America I think about. The patient says "and the doctor comes in and says 'Peggy, you have cancer and 3 months" and walks out. At the Cancer Center, after tests, the doctor told her "Peggy, I have examined you and I don't see an expiration date anywhere on you". I like Peggy's new doctor and I would run screaming from the first.

MAYS 2010-02-19 03:09:23 -0600 Report

I agree with you and love the commercial, i see things from all points of view before giving a non biased opinion.
And state so if my opinion is biased or partial.

rankearl 2010-02-17 22:06:37 -0600 Report

when i do get to see a dr i do want them to do be realstic but they seem to forget there is always hope we as indivuals prefer to think postive no matter what we face and i belive we have a greater power over looking over us all and yes even dr fall under that so they too need to wacth what they say and do well saying all that felt good thanks hugs julie