Monday, October 26, 2009

" Don't ask me questions !"

Patient often ask me to analyse their earlier IVF treatment cycles. Was the treatment provided correct ? Did the doctor do a good job ? Could he have done anything differently ? Was there a better option ? Why did the IVF cycle fail ?

I am always amazed why they didn't ask their earlier doctor these basic questions !

When I asked a patient this question, his answer was - I did try to ask, but my doctor curtly told me - Don't ask me questions !

I was trying to figure out why a doctor would do so .

Many doctors get irritated by questions because they feel the questions are "stupid" and not worthy of their time or attention.

Others are very busy, and because they have to finish seeing another 10 patients in the next one hour, they are not inclined to answer questions, and are quite happy to delegate this to their assistant. This attitude is very common amongst hot-shot surgeons, who feel their time is very precious . They would rather be operating in the Operation Theater, rather than sitting and talking to patients and answering their questions!

Others feel threatened by a patient's questions. They think that the patient is questioning their authority and this puts them off. They can afford to get away with a brusque attitude because patients think they are powerless and helpless.

A good doctor will encourage a patient's questions. When a patient asks questions, he is doing so only because he wants to learn more about his treatment options - and if he cannot ask his doctor, whom can he ask ?

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