Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Perfect Doctor

Category: General

Now to be fair, doctors are not the only ones who can sometimes have rather unrealistic expectations of other people. According to many patients, doctors should always do the following.
  1. Be perfectly willing at all times to listen to you drone on and on about every ache and pain you've ever had, telling long stories filled with unecessary details about every car wreck you were in, while the other office rooms are filling up with other patients who have real problems.
  2. Call in any prescription at any time. Doctors should never be apprehensive about this. They shouldn't require that you actually come to the office so they can take a look at you. You need to save time and money. Who cares that writing and calling in prescriptions without actually diagnosing you is technically against the rules?
  3. Provide free services and advice. I mean, really, hamburgers and cigarettes and lottery tickets are okay to pay for, but health care? What kind of world is it when doctors get to charge so much for something that everyone ought to be entitled to anyway, right? You wouldn't dream of leaving Wal-Mart or McDonald's without paying for anything, but you don't mind a bit to say the receptionist at the doctor's office, "I'll just have to pay you when I can." Yeah, right.
  4. Have all the answers. Period. The phrases, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure yet" or "I've never seen anything like this before" should never be uttered.
  5. Never be pushy when it comes to health maintenance or general medical compliance. If a doctor is actually dumb enough to quit nagging their patients about those things, the same patient who got angry at being nagged will turn around sue their doctor when they come up with say, prostate cancer, saying, "My doctor never told me this could happen. He/she stopped offering those screening prostate checks and I would have eventually let him/her." But that's okay, that's what malpractice insurance is for, right? Sue away!

And there we have it: aggravation on both sides, doctors and patients playing nice on the surface, but secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) having evil thoughts and unrealistic expectations about the other. I wonder if it's always been that way? My bet is that the answer is yes.


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