Monday, September 09, 2013

Doctors with egos



One of the most frequent complaints patients have is that their doctors rarely listen to them. Most doctors just order patients what to do, rather than explaining the problem and discussing their options. These doctors don't listen to the patient's perspective and don't take their preference into consideration when formulating an action plan. This attitude of doctors infuriates patients who expect to be treated as intelligent adults.

Doctors have a high opinion of themselves. They have usually been toppers in school , who were always complimented and appreciated for being the best. This tends to make them proud of their skills and hence they have a low opinion of laypeople who aren't as proficient about science and biology.

Medical colleges train doctors to be paternalistic ; and it is embedded in their minds that they are supposed to take care of their patients and make the right kind of decisions for them, because they are the experts . This can lead to conflict when the patient and doctor don't see eye to eye. Lots of doctors find it hard to treat their patients as equals,  and often end up telling them what to do , as opposed to explaining or discussing their problem with them.

Sometimes it's the lopsided doctor patient ratio in India which makes it a problem for doctors to spend enough time with the patients. It's much more effective for them to just tell patients what to do , leaving no time-window for discussion open , so they can minimise the time they spend with each patient, and improve their throughput , allowing them to attend more efficiently to their crowd of waiting patients. This leaves many patients unsatisfied , as the doctor makes the decision without enlightening patients about alternate options.

Because doctors are often treated as God , this help to further inflate their egos. Patients follow every word they say and nurses and assistants are happy to follow their orders. This kind of treatment can make anyone swollen-headed , which is why many senior doctors expect their patient to listen and blindly follow their instructions , rather than discuss options with them. Many get irritated when the patient asks questions - and some feel that this suggests that the patient does not trust them. They are quite happy to fire these patients !

If you think your IVF doctor has such a huge ego that he is not willing to listen respectfully to you, please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !



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