Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why I like treating patients who ask questions !

Most doctors discourage patients from asking questions. They feel patients with lists of questions are pesky patients, who just waste their time. Some feel threatened, because they feel these questions mean that the patient is challenging their authority !

I enjoy these patients ! They keep me on my toes and help me to learn. They are helpful critics and help me to see things from a patient’s perspective , improving my ability to empathise with my patients.

An additional bonus is that they provide great content for my blog and my website ! Many questions are thought-provoking – and force me to re-think my point of view. While they can be challenging, I also understand that these questions do not mean that they do not trust me – it’s just that they are testing me, to see if I deserve their trust, and I am happy to earn it !

The good news is that when they get pregnant they are very grateful , and refer lots of other patients to me. Because of their personality and the fact they are well-informed, they are often opinion leaders in their community.

However, I am not a saint, and repeated questions can be bugging. I also get irritated by patients who make no attempt to find out the answers for themselves. I don't like spoon-feeding them ; and while I am happy to answer specific questions, I have already answered most generic questions on the website !

I tell patients - Help me to help you ! Do your homework, and then I'll be happy to help !

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