Monday, May 31, 2021

Why I get angry with some IVF patients


It might seem surprising that as an IVF specialist I get upset with patients . After all, aren’t doctors meant to be compassionate and empathetic ?

Now this doesn't mean that I am cold and insensitive - it just means that I lose my temper when I see how badly they have been treated by other IVF doctors .

Now you might think that's no reason for me to get angry with the patient – shouldn’t I be getting angry with the doctor ?
Yes, logically that’s true, but getting upset with how badly other doctors treat patients doesn't really help , because there’s no way I can improve the way they treat their patients .

My point is that patients should stop treating themselves as helpless victims , who allow unethical doctors to manipulate them.

Part of the problem is that of information asymmetry , because patients don’t know enough to be able to assess the quality of the advice their doctor is giving them. And it’s easy for doctors to take undue advantage of the desperation and ignorance of their patients, and unethical doctors thrive on this.

This is one of the reasons why I so actively and liberally prescribe Information Therapy - so that patients can recognize bad doctors , and not allow themselves to get cheated .

I get angry when educated patients don't use the tons of free resources available online to do their homework , so they can pick and choose which doctors are worth trusting .

I get upset because they are allowing bad doctors to take advantage of them by remaining ignorant .

The problem is patients underestimate their own intelligence ; while others are just plain lazy , and refuse to put in the work required to make sure they are getting the best possible medical care.

Part of the problem is we have been socialized into believing that half knowledge is dangerous, and that patients should leave everything up to the medical expert , who knows far more than they ever will .

This is a patronizing attitude which I don't agree with , because while the doctors may know about technical minutiae , only the patient knows what their personal preferences are !

This is why , in a healthy doctor-patient relationship , there needs to be trust, equality and respect. Patients need to earn their doctor’s respect by doing their homework , so doctors can see they are well-informed . Doctors will think twice before trying to cheat them by making false promises.

Patients have the ability to be able to defend themselves from bad doctors using the many tools available online for free, and it breaks my heart when they refuse to use them


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