The Most Important Thing

People/patients aren’t stupid. They are scared. If you understand this, you have won the battle.


76 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing

    • Me too. For I wish you would educate other doctors on this.
      Sadly, I have stopped going to private practice doctors for that very reason. Clinics at teaching hospitals means the doctors are not swell- eaded and ‘know’ they don’t know everything. At the end of my exam they consult with supervising doctors then the supervising doctor speaks to me as well. The visit is longer but more comprehensive which I appreciate. Private practice doctors (that I’ve had and some other horror stories from family members ) consult with no one and assume patients know nothing so should not question their methods or decisions. Which resulted in ailments not being diagnosed accurately early on and if we weren’t persistent in seeking a second opinion would have had dire consequences. The ego of some doctors is disturbing!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. :::sitting swaddled in my Misanthropes Anon. jammies and matching robe:::
    Really? You are talking about the general public, right? There are a LOT of just stupid, stupid people out there.

    OK. That off my chest… (Really, they are stupid.) (Did I mention stupid?)

    They can also be scared. Maybe they are scared because they are stupid. Or uninformed. Or maybe they are scared because they don’t know how they are going to pay for something. Or… There are lots of reasons to be scared. When scared even very smart people say and do some very stupid things.

    Compassion. Empathy. Courtesy. Respect. I don’t care if the person IS stupid, they deserve all of those things, especially in a business/professional situation. That can be very difficult in a setting where you see a wide swath of the population, but as you said, if you can keep that in mind, you’ve won a large portion of the battle. Even stupid people can tell when they are being respected and when they are not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is very true, VD.

    But it’s also true that even the smartest person, when sick, is less smart. Me? I become a total idiot — I wish I were joking. There have been times when I’ve been so sick I couldn’t remember, follow instructions or do common sense activities. That’s why I have someone come with me to my appointments when I’m sick.

    And that’s what scares me about the current emphasis on patient choice in their own treatment. It’s a double-edged sword.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Really? It is seldom that I have met a doctor who I thought was scared. The ego I notice, but as I said before it is my experience that doctors are trained that way. It is possible they are using the ego to hide other feelings such as fear. I find that a barrier to collaborative treatment as I am expected to abdicate my treatment to the medical staff. I had a large decison to make wrt to my health care (whether to operate or not) and the doctor – generally an open, honest person – told me I had to make the decision. I am sure he thought he was engaging on collaboration. i told him that he had all the info and unless he chose to share it with me I had no criteria on which to base a decision. He was a bit upset and reeled off a list of papers and authors. Interestingly enough they almost all referenced a similar condition but in a female. I sourced and read the material and made a decision which included my perceived best interests. I’ve spent some of my life studying and have an undergrad in Chemistry , including organic, so the material was handleable but it would likely not be for many people. I guess what was really needed was for the doctor to translate the information objectvely and communicate it. There is neither the time nor the experience (likely not covered in med school) for him to do that. Which brings me to the point that collaborative medicine has to begin at medical school. It is difficult to simply decree it to be so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Much of the ego hides fear. Not true of every physician but certainly true of many. We learn/are taught to hide that. No one wants a scared doctor. As for the surgery, sounds like your physician did not articulate it well but when I tell patients it is there choice, it generally means both are correct (to have or not to have) and the patient is the only one living in the body who can know if the condition is bad enough to warrant the risks of intervention. If a patient asks me to decide for them, I generally will do so. That is true collaborative medicine… Recognizing when patients need for you to take over.


      • Risk was the issue – actually risk vs benefit. I was the only one who could determine benefit, but he was the one who could understand the risk. He couldn’t articulate that risk other than to give me a list of papers. Other surgeons had also made their opinions known. In the end i chose to live without the operation – which is odd for me, I usually have a pretty high risk tolerance. My surgeon was pro-operation. I still think, some years later that I made theright decision.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. True story. My heart rate at the beginning of every doctor/dentist appointment proves this. Although there is probably a fair amount of stupid fueling that as well πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true although as a nurse I’ve had some hilarious encounters which prove the rule!
    I do agree though that when scared and in a hospital environment, even the most competent individual can seem lost, not stupid

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You are so wise. I teach a couple of classed to our new Home Care clinicians and that is lesson #1. People are afraid. Get the fear down to a manageable level and you will get a lot more done. Get them to be part of their plan of care, make them think it is all in their control, and you got it! People are not stupid for the most part, they are uniformed. A good provider knows to answer questions in a level they can understand, and help abate the fear. You are one of the good ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is so important for any practitioner to understand. Sometimes it takes some patience. Also, I have nominated you for the ‘Real Neat Blog’ Award. If you decline, I will not be offended. Just accept my congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve seen docs take advantage of scared people. Doc, I wish your message could go viral. I’m up to *here* with docs taking advantage of people who are scared. Done. Just done. Not sure if I will ever again trust medicine. It needs to convince me it is trust-worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You, Doctor, are a brilliant person, and as you know, I’m a huge fan. But the problem with people such as yourself, giving so much of your time in trying to help us out by speaking these much-needed pearls of wisdom, is summed up best by another of my heroes, in these simple words,
    β€œIt takes two to speak the truth – one to speak and another to hear.”
    ― Henry David Thoreau
    The problem is that too often, those that really need to hear, just refuse to listen. But I do thank you each and every time you try. You have so much more patience than I could ever find within myself no matter how hard I tried.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: My Article Read (2-2-2015) | My Daily Musing

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