Monday, 7 May 2007

Patronising or worse

This is not intended to be a personal attack on anyone in particular.

Recently I have come across blogs which give the impression that some doctors appear to have a very low opinion of their patients. There is a self-congratulatory tone from some which I find disquieting. There is something of an echo in this in Papillon's most recent post when she went to see her anaesthetist, Dr Icecube.

I come from a medical family. I have known doctors socially, have worked for many of them, and have even consulted them. Some of them are idiots (oh, sacrilege) and some of them are wonderful people.

I am capable of understanding quite a lot. I am capable of reading a newspaper report and thinking that it's rubbish, or only partly true. I am capable of finding original research where appropriate. I am not the only one: don't treat us, your patients, like some sort of idiots just because our backgrounds are not the same as yours.

Please treat others as you would like to be treated. Controversial, I know.


  1. I have to say that only once since reaching adulthood has a doctor ever treated me with anything other than respect. But, I think that's at least partly because I'm an 'informed' patient, I am not afraid to ask questions, and I'm not easy to intimidate.

    To be fair to the doctors, though, most of them were also caring professionals.

  2. I'm afraid I've had some very varying treatment. The worst was after a miscarriage when I was told to treat it as a false alarm. I had really wanted that baby. Though thinking back, the warning signs were there when I went to say I thought I was pregnant and he asked if the should congratulate me or not.

    My husband, too, has had some poor treatment. In the normal way he would have absolutely no qualms at all about speaking his mind, but when you are feeling vulnerable, it can be difficult.

    Working with surgeons can be a bit of an eye-opener too. When I told them there was no way I wanted any of them to treat me for anything whatsoever, I was only half joking. After you've heard them being truly disparaging about patients, you do wonder.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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