Thursday, October 13, 2011

About doctors

No, I don't hate doctors.
I'm very thankful they exist and I'm convinced they make this world a better place. Or at least they make people being able to see that the world is a better place. Better than it was before going to the doctor. You know.

But as we all have experienced or read in horrible articles in tabloids there are good and bad doctors around. But what makes a doctor a bad doctor? I mean, all of them studied and graduated, so they just have to know their job in some sense, don't they.

Of course it's bad, when a doctor makes a horrible mistake. Like sewing his watch in your stomach or taking out your appendix when you were there for your tonsils.
But with the crazy overtime work hours they have to put up with you can't really blame them doing every OP on autopilot. At least here in Germany doctors work like 36 hours in one shift, then go sleep in the storage room for a few hours only to have it start all over again. These poor creatures don't remember what their house looks like let alone their wife, if something like that ever existed. What do you do with your great salary, if you never have time to spend it? Where's the sense in such a life? I don't know, that's why I'm becoming an engineer. That and because I hate people.
It's also bad, when the doctor cannot figure out why you're feeling bad. But then again, who is supposed to remember everything he's ever read/heard? There's so much to know about every sickness you can possibly have, it's just too much for one brain. In my opinion that's what books are for. And brainstorming with other doctors.

But I think there are other things that make doctors bad. The biggest one is insensitivity!
Last week I was at my doctor's and asked him, why I have the same (light, no worries) infection every few weeks all over again. He said, it could be loads of reasons. Like deficiency of vitamins or ... or ... or HIV. Man, am I glad that I know for a fact I'm negative, otherwise this would have had me starting into a panic. Since he wanted to do bloodtests, I would have been in that panic until the results. Dammit, couldn't he have been more sensitive?!
Once upon a time I was in pain for 3 days and therefore a bit worried, so I went to a doctor. Who then proceeded to press on my aching body and ask me "Does this hurt?" Me pressed a "Yes" through the teeth. Only to be told that other patients would have jumped to the ceiling, so my pain can't be that serious. Hallo?! Maybe I just deal differently with pain than other people?! Plus... jumping to the ceiling... what does that even mean!?
Once upon another time I was in heavy pain (allergy) and my step-sister, who happens to be a doctor, gave me treatment. She's one of those, who can remember everything they ever read, so she really good at giving diagnoses. But dealing with patients in pain isn't her strong point. She had this kinda cold, distant way of telling me that even though my ankle has doubled in size I should just suck it up, since it's not serious yet. Thank god for that... I don't want to know what is serious then! Couldn't really complain though. She helped me and I was better the next day. But sensitivity hasn't been in one room with her. Ever.

Lots of doctors are totally clueless what severe pain feels like in real life. So I suggest every doctor should experience severe pain at least once in life. Over a longer period, let's say, a week. It should be part of the curriculum. "Severe pain", once a trimester. The students experience the pain and then have to write a paper about how it made them feel. I expect life-changing results. If not, the pain wasn't severe enough.

Where do I have to submit my suggestion?


  1. I was present when a mother was told that her daughter had drown and was dead. He did that because he wanted to show me how hard that is listening to the wailing and pleading and denial.
    Rips your soul out. He was correct in assuming I couldn't handle that but he used them as an emotional thermometer. I always thought that was fucking wrong of him to place me there.

    over 20% of hospital deaths are avoidable deaths. in all major developed countries.

  2. @Chris
    The mother probably thought the same: Why was that Chris even there?
    Seems insensitive for me, too. -.-

  3. I guess the insensitivity comes with part of the see lots of different patients each day, some are dying, some are relatively well.
    So when you compare a patient with an infection with a patient who's dying of cancer and suffering through chemo, I guess you don't have much sympathy for the patient with infection. :/ We don't all start out insensitive, but its one of the job hazards? I've caught myself being very insensitive to patients every now and then. Not something I'm proud of, but sometimes you just can't help it. heh. :p

  4. @vid
    So what do you say to my suggestion?
    I'm sure, it would be very helpful. hehe

  5. It might work, but then again, depends on what your definition of severe is. :p
    If you put us through the same amount of pain as someone who just got their foot crushed in heavy machinery, then you can't expect us to sympathize over a bruise ever again. Might backfire, really. :p

  6. @vid
    I was thinking of this kind of pain that just gets to you with time. You know, the first day all is fine, but after a week you're a total mess.
    It shall not backfire!

  7. totally agree. doctors learn how to treat physical syntoms, and too often forget about the fact that patients are body and soul.

  8. @Francesca
    Yep, like a piece of meat. This must be the reason why some doctors don't really talk to the patients but more to the nurses.

  9. I am a doctor.
    I have felt severe pain - mainly heartbreak.
    And yes, it makes me a better doctor, mainly because I don't try to sugarcoat stuff. If it is shit, it is shit. I empathise.

  10. @sassysrcil
    I think heartbreak might be a bit hard for a compulsory course every trimester. O.O
    But I'm sure it makes people more aware of other people's feelings.
    Hope you get through this shitty phase alright. *hug*