Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why do doctors have such large egos

English: Livingston, TX, 9/25/05 -- A doctor t...

One of the commonest complaints patients have about doctors is that they refuse to listen to them. Many doctors talk down to patients , and often treat them as little children , who don't understand anything and need their hand held. They will often not listen to the patient's perspective - and very few will actually factor in the patient's preferences when formulating a plan of action. Many patients find this patronizing attitude of doctors very infuriating , because they want to be treated as intelligent adults.

One of the reasons doctors have such large egos is because they have a very high opinion of themselves. Usually, they have a track record of always doing well in school. They are used to being complimented as being intelligent students , because most are academically bright ; and they have spent many, many years slogging and studying huge textbooks , in order to master an extremely complex body of medical information . They are justly proud of their technical proficiency and skills. This is why they don’t have a high opinion of laypeople , who they think understand very little about biology or about how their bodies work.
Also, most doctors have been trained in a system which emphasized a paternalistic approach towards patients. Doctors were supposed to take care of the patient and make the right decisions for them. This is why some senior doctor sometimes find it hard to treat patients as partners.
Also, many doctors are extremely busy , and because the number of patients will always be far more than the number of doctors , the amount of time they have to spend with each patient is extremely limited. This is why they try to see as many patients as quickly as possible . One way of maximizing patient flow and throughput is by telling patients what to do  and not engaging in a discussion. This is why patients often feel that their questions were satisfactorily answered; or that the doctor just made all the decisions unilaterally, without explaining what their alternatives were.
One of the other reasons doctors have such huge egos is because they are used to being treated as God. In a hospital , doctors are the cock of the walk. Patients hang onto their every word ; and they are followed by a retinue of nurses and assistants, who blindly follow their orders. If you're used to being treated as the captain of the ship, it's very easy for this to get your head , as a result of which you start thinking that you know everything there is to know ; and that patients ( who know so much less than you do, because you’ve spent a lifetime mastering this complex science) should just listen to what you tell them to. If they had more sense, they'd know that you have all answers, and that all they need to do if they want to get better is to listen to you.
Doctors aren't used to being challenged by their patients , and many feel threatened by patients who ask them too many questions. They will often fire these patients , as a result of which most doctors tend to only see compliant patients who quietly accept everything they say as being the gospel truth.

As a result of this , the general perception on the part of patients is that doctors are arrogant and look down on their patients. This is why , when things go wrong, patients can get extremely vengeful and angry. This is why there is so much criticism about the medical profession on bulletin boards and at cocktail parties.

Most doctors are intelligent – and if they willing to recognize that this is a problem , they are smart enough to be able to change their approach , so as to find a solution. One simple answer is to spend more time with their patients . However, because time is such a precious commodity and such a scarce resource for most doctors , it's very hard for them to be able to implement this solution.

This is why doctors need to invest in time extenders, which could include assistants and patient education tools , such as websites. Even if they cannot educate the patient themselves, they can leverage technology , to be able to make sure that the patient knows exactly what they are going to do.

In my experience, it’s only those doctors who are not sure of themselves , who have large egos . In reality, their egos are very fragile, which is why they don’t like being challenged or questioned. Good doctors are much more down to earth because the unpredictability of real life teaches them humility very quickly !

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1 comment:

  1. Doctors also think they are doing the right treatment. They also don't know emotional support from the doctor goes a long way in the recovery. Only when their doubts cleared the belief increases which plays a major role in recovery of illness. Or. Success in infertility treatment, along. With. Medical management.

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