Doctors Do Not Know What it’s Like to Be Patients
Doctors do not know what it’s like to be patients. Being a doctor all day long, it gets easy to think, “This person has cancer” or “That guy has Parkinsons.” Sometimes this casual matter-of-fact attitude comes out in their conversation. If they have a patient who is diagnosed with cancer, fails surgery, and then dies—this is nothing new. Your doctor can sound cold, unfeeling, and harsh. Maybe he or she is just a jerk. Or maybe your doctor cannot really relate to you the way you think. Here’s what to do: If you are faced with a serious disease or chronic condition, try to find a local support group. You know who “gets” patients? Other patients! For instance, an online support group for people with pacemakers and defibrillators (PacemakerClub.com) offers no medical advice but allows people who share this disorder the chance to meet each other, swap stories, and encourage each other. If you are dealing with serious health issues, your friends and family are good sources of help and kindness; support groups can be encouraging; but your clinical team may only be able to offer you medical help.