Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

We teach doctors how to treat us

Doctor 38

Dr. Phil used to say, “We teach people how to treat us.”  Nowhere is this more true than in the medical community.

Against my better judgment, I recently gave up half a day to bring my two bionic knees for their one-year check-up. I say this because past experience taught me not to expect much, if anything, in the way of answers from my orthopedic surgeon. After all, he is accustomed to having his patients “out” when he works his magic, and I am sure he prefers it that way. Still, even I did not think he could limbo under the extremely low bar I had set for him… but he did.

Imagine a follow-up exam during which your surgeon did not look at your expensive new digital x-rays, which he ordered; watch you walk, or even move your knees around a bit. Well, this is how my check-up went. To be fair, doing these tasks would have necessitated that his full body enter the exam room, and that never happened. He did crane his neck over the threshold and almost make eye contact with me. His hand, however, remained on the door handle the entire 90 seconds (and that is being generous) he was there, signaling that he had more important things to do and was not interested in taking questions.

While doctors must be held accountable for their own poor behavior, patients must assume some of the blame as well. After all, we worship them like rock stars, making excuses like, “Anyone who takes people apart and puts them back together has to have a “God Complex.” When did good bedside manner and excellent technical skills become mutually exclusive traits?

When it is time for my next check-up, I’ll take my knees shoe shopping instead; at least then we’ll have something to show for our money and time.

3 comments on “We teach doctors how to treat us

  1. Tem and Larry Williams
    October 30, 2013

    Honestly, Sheryl, you should send this to the AMA…….competency aside (he is a good surgeon), but when did skill and embracing the whole patient become exclusive of each other…go for the new shoes….has the pain shot kicked in yet?

  2. 100wickedwords
    October 31, 2013

    I’d find myself a new ortho doctor BEFORE I shopped for those shoes and after I wrote a letter describing how I was treated to the hospital’s PR department!

  3. Rosemarie Welch
    November 5, 2013

    Thanks Sheryl for the tips . . .for example not carrying things in both hands. It is that simple admonition can save me from falling. My neurologist ,bless his heart reminds me of Doogie Houser, in his white starched Lab coat, and I often feel that he hasn’t the experience that an older doctor would have to treat PWP.I to am searching for information and the Michael Fox Hot topics Webinar was very helpful also .

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2013 by in Back to Normal, Knee surgery 1, Knee Surgery 2, Physical Therapy.

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