Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why doctors don't respect patients

Then there are doctors who see a packed waiting room as a badge of honour. Some doctors “routinely make patients wait for two to three hours and then boast that patients are willing to put up with so much trouble in order to see them,” says Mumbai-based IVF specialist Dr Aniruddha Malpani.

How long you end up waiting is also a function of how popular a doctor is. Most patients find doctors by asking around -- who’s the best doctor for delivering a baby? Fixing a broken hip? The bigger the reputation, the longer the wait. But what to do? When you’re sick or desperate, you want the ‘best’. And so, patients will plead for just two minutes with the Big Guy. Waiting? No problem.

“Doctors don’t respect patients because patients don’t demand respect,” says Dr Malpani. Is there a way out? Here’s what patients can do. They can come prepared, study the web, make a list of symptoms and questions. Doctors on their part could leverage technology. Put up information on a website, for instance, so that patients have basic questions answered before they come in.                                          

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