A doctor by any other name

October 24, 2009 at 13:56 4 comments

A friend recently asked on her Facebook account what doctors actually are. You know – for example, cardiologists are plumbers, orthopedic surgeons are butchers, radiologists are photographers, and so forth.

What I actually am seems to be quite clear from what various patients have said to me.

Example #1: “You are my doctor – how come you don’t open clinics on Saturdays and Sundays, so that it will be more convenient for me?”

By saying “doctor”, this patient really means “servant”.

Example #2: “As my doctor, you must write a favourable report saying that I have very serious depression, that’s why I stole things/took drugs/punched people, but it was not my fault.”

Here, “doctor” means “get-out-of-jail-free card”.

Example #3: “Why can’t you give me my Valium/Dormicum/Erimin/cough syrup?! What kind of lousy doctor are you?!”

Drug supplier. And example #3 frequently leads on to…

Example #4: “YOU STUPID DOCTOR; WHADDAYA MEAN I’M THREATENING YOU? I HAVEN’T EVEN HIT YOU YET!!!”

Punching bag.

Example #5: “If you don’t give me enough sleeping pills I will jump out the window and I will tell the whole world that this idiot doctor is responsible for my death!!!”

Scapegoat.

And then these lovely folks lodge a complaint, which the Complaints Department will forward to our heads, and then we will have to explain why we were so unprofessional and inept.

Ah well. Life at the Fruit Farm.

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Entry filed under: Dear Diary. Tags: , .

Sick & busy Five good things this week

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. purplejake  |  October 25, 2009 at 05:47

    But surely there must be some decent patients out there? My father was a dental surgeon – surely the most reviled profession of them all apart from tax inspectors – and even he used to be given gifts at Christmas and cards of appreciation and thanks. Perhaps his patients were just scared that it they didn’t kiss ass he’d really make it hurt!!
    Melbourne seems to have gone by in a flash – did you love it?

    Reply
    • 2. Katie  |  October 26, 2009 at 14:35

      Confesses: I was being really negative and just focusing on the ones that made me angry. Actually 9/10 are not like that, and some are truly nice and appreciative. It’s kinda also due to the culture where I work – you have good sessions with a hundred patients and pass unseen by the Big Bosses’ eyes; you get one complaint and it’s emailed to half the department heads and the Medical Board Chief. C’est la vie. I guess many companies operate like that.

      On the flip side, I have patients so sweet that they’d give me biscuits/cakes/candy “in case I get hungry in the clinic”. Which is immensely touching, especially as it tends to be the less well-off ones who do that.

      It’s interesting to know that about your dad! I’m sure that he must’ve had great bedside skills in addition to technical ones, in order to be so well-liked by his patients.

      Melbourne was wonderful. I’d go back there in a flash. Today I saw someone carrying a paper bag from Haigh’s (the land of the chocolate frog!) and it caused a pang that was strangely very much like homesickness.

      Reply
  • 3. purplejake  |  October 27, 2009 at 03:29

    I sympathise – it’s far more cathartic to write about negative experiences. They’re usually funnier to read as well and it was a good post, right down to the title. I always enjoy reading your blog!

    Reply
    • 4. Katie  |  October 27, 2009 at 22:12

      Thank you. I always enjoy yours too. And I take the fact of us reading the other’s blog as proof that all things happen for a reason. :)

      Reply

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Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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