Helpful Hints: Dealing with Doctors

They Can Handle The Truth 5/30/2015

Recently I was with someone I know at a health care facility for treatment for a minor issue. During the normal intake process the medical assistant reviewed the patient's health history, current medications and symptoms. When the medical assistant asked the patient if they smoked I was shocked when the patient said no. I had seen this person smoking a cigarette just an hour before. Sadly, it is not uncommon for patients to be "less than truthful" to doctors and other healthcare providers.

Right Of Refusal 4/30/2015

When I was in high school I was unexpectedly hospitalized for several days to treat an infected mosquito bite. Because the bite was so close to my knee the doctor worried the infection could cause long term damage to my joint. So I was admitted to the hospital to have it drained and treated and I was placed on very high doses of IV antibiotics for several days. This happened at a teaching hospital. After my doctor treated me there were several new residents and medical students who visited me and reexamined me for the benefit of their own educational development purposes. At the time I found it amusing and interesting to talk to so many new people about my knee. Recently a friend of mine was unexpectedly hospitalized for an injury and experienced a similar "over review" of their case. Unlike me the patient did not appreciate a parade of new doctors and care givers examining and reexamining the injury and asking the same questions about it. I immediately suggested that my friend refuse to allow anyone but the primary physician perform any exams or have any discussions with the patient about the case. The patient always has a right to refuse a test, exam or any sort of treatment or care unless they are mentally incapacitated.

Bad Bedside Manner 8/30/2014

In our modern age, it is unfortunately rather common for people to experience difficult customer service interactions. Most of us can share several stories about rude and upsetting conversations with store clerks or call center staff. It's simply part of life. However when you experience an unpleasant interaction with healthcare staff related to your medical care it can be a particularly awful experience.

Firing Your Doctor 5/30/2014

Prior to starting my business I worked as a Human Resources professional. Doing this work I was sometimes involved in the process of terminating the employment of individuals who were failing to meet their job expectations. Anyone who has ever been a manager knows how uncomfortable it can sometimes be to tell a problem employee that their employment is being terminated. Even if the individual has had many warnings and opportunities to improve and willfully continues to behave inappropriately it's not an easy conversation. It is however a necessary thing to do because failing to take this action when needed has negative consequences for all the other staff, customers, and the employee.

Accepting Reality 4/30/2014

It is my personal opinion that one of the most destructive things in our lives is the human tendency to procrastinate. We are all guilty of it. We all know that it doesn't help to put things off and yet nearly everyone does this regularly. When we do this in our career or in a social situation it can create unpleasant consequences. However when we procrastinate on medical issues it can sometimes be deadly.

When You Hit The Wall 1/31/2013

When dealing with a major health issue, one thing you can expect to happen from time to time is difficulty in dealing with the medical bureaucracy. Hospitals, clinics, and physician offices are no different than any other large institutions in our society. In spite of the best intentions of all the dedicated individuals who work in healthcare, you can expect breakdowns and problems to occur. Sadly, this happens often in our modern lives, but when it happens while you are dealing with a serious illness the stress and frustration is often far worse.