Patients’ Depth of Knowledge and Doctors’ Illusion of Control
Ever walked away crazy with frustration after yet another appointment with your doctor doesn’t resolve anything?
There is something that you need to understand that, while it wonât undo your pain, make your fatigue go away, or lift your emotions, it will help you.
Ever been pissed off at your kids’ pediatricians and pulmonologists because of their attitudes and demeanor?
You see us when we feel like giving up. When we take care of you, we have to leave behind the illusion of control, of power over disease. We get angry, feel insecure, and want to move on to a patient who we can fix, save, or impress. You are the rock that proves how easily the ship can be sunk.
Ever wonder why it feels like you sometimes know more about this chronic lung disease than the person standing in front of you who not only collects your co-pay but also went to freaking medical school?
[Y]ou possess deep understanding of something that many doctors donât possess. Even doctors who specialize in your disorder donât share the kind of knowledge you can only get through living with a disease. Itâs like a parentâs knowledge of their child versus that of a pediatrician. They may have breadth of knowledge, but you have depth of knowledge. . . .
Want to know where I found these quotes?
Check out Dr. Rob’s open letter to patients with chronic disease. In it, Dr. Rob makes the case for positive, productive doctor-patient relationships without implying that a little patient knowledge is a bad thing and by outlining as thorough and generous an explanation behind thorny appointments as I’ve found yet. Go read it; see what you think.
(Via Terri Mauro on Twitter.)