Lots of doctors find educated patients a pain in the neck. They feel that these patients think they are smart. That they spend a lot of time online. That they do a lot of research as a result of which, they ask lots of questions. They come with a long list of doubts, and they consume a lot of the doctor's time because they often don't trust what the doctor is saying and have their own opinion. They want the doctor to listen to them and clarify their doubts, rather than just provide his professional opinion. Lots of iWave doctors would be much happier treating either ignorant illiterate patients, who don't ask any questions or patients who are willing to put so much faith, trust, and confidence in their doctor that they are happy to let the doctor make all the decisions for them, so that they don't provide any inputs or personal preferences at all.
Now that's not my style. I prefer treating intelligent educated patients who've done their homework and research and have their own. After all I'm not a veterinarian. I'm a doctor and I learn a lot from these patients because they've done a lot of research, and ultimately I'm just trying to help them to have a baby, so they have a particular world view, which maybe unique to them based on their life experiences. Since I'm not a mind reader, I don't know what their choices are going to be. I feel my role is to help them to achieve their goals rather than try to force my views down their throat, because after all infertility treatment is elective and there are always lots of options.
Who am I to tell them which option they should be following? I like these patients because not only do I learn a lot from them, because of all the research which they do, but because of all the intelligent questions which they ask me, which help me to think a little more deeply about some of the advice I give. More importantly they have very realistic expectations. They understand that I'm not a magician or a miracle worker. Means it is easier to manage the ups and owns of an IVF cycle and deal with failure because they understand that the outcome of a cycle is not in my hands or theirs. Also they are much sophisticated. They appreciate the work we are doing, and they are mature enough to realize what makes us better than other IVF doctors because we are open and transparent and share information with them.
I think this mutual trust ensures us to get along very well along with these patients. Even better they are opinion leaders because they make intelligent decisions and have done their home work and are great sources of referral, because they carry a lot of clout in the patient community, and people look up to them. They've done their homework, and this is very helpful for our reputation. What I really like about them is that they make their own decisions, and they are not passively dependent on me or expect me to make to decisions for them. I can create a partnership with these patients, because they are empowered, and this is really what makes medical practice so fulfilling for me.
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