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Saturday, February 4, 2012

To be a fly on the wall....

My latest internet addiction is reading Dr. blogs. I prefer the anonymous blogs, they seem to feel more comfortable to express, not their "Dr Persona" but their human side. Over the years I have often been puzzled by Dr. behavior, so finding a treasure trove of blogs to read felt like winning the lottery!

1)Everyone poops. They actually have all the human characteristics the rest of have. From honesty to narcissism they aren't immune.

2) After reading about 25 blogs- I have discovered that odds are at some point one of your Dr.s does judge you! Sometimes the judgement is in honest hope that you will live a lifestyle that is gentler on your body, but they judge us on a personal level too! The whole personal level judgement kind of throws me because as a patient I don't judge them on a "personal level" but I do judge their ability to quickly process data, whether they talk to me while typing on their phones, or writing vigorously in their charts,whether they appear to recognize the medical issue and whether they are prepared to move forward. Apparently, from our weight to our level of education and at times our politics can be discussed as long as it is done privately.(not sure an anonymous blog online is private but..)

What really stood out, was that Drs. seem to really respect their colleagues who "think outside the box" where they become very frustrated by patients that think outside the box... hummmm The term "non-compliant" was generously used.

3)Based on the blogs I have read, more seem more comfortable identifying themselves as democrats/liberals/progressives(could that be why I clash with so many??? :-)vs conservative, repub or libertarian- maybe conservatives are more conservative about sharing personal data?

4)Drs. in Seattle love to blog! A lot Dr. blogs up there. Some are very personal, some are just repeating what the FDA, and the Medical Association tells them to think.. and a few are good rants! A few I really appreciate because they are honest and show their "human" side and how it affects their doctoring- I found myself sympathizing for Drs. instead of my normal defensive posture.

5)When it comes to vaccines, many are as confused as we are. Surprisingly, most(keep in mind mostly Seattle blogs)are open to delayed vaccines-but don't get excited yet, they tend to only be willing to delay the "extra's" like Hep or chicken pox. One of the Drs. blogged that they did a little local poll of pediatricians in the Seattle area and over 77 percent had been approached and asked about delayed immunizations by worried parents.. They may act like they have the answers and stand by vaccines and the current schedule, but Drs. are wondering if there is compromise in vaccine schedules that would ensure coverage and reduce risk- they are hearing us! They acknowledge that we are now reading those warnings they hand us and asking questions- keep up the good work Moms- they are listening.

6)They really do hate smokers.

7) There seem to be a huge variable of personalities across the different medical specialities a lot of diversity, except in Peds- these Drs. seem to have certain personalities-really just a couple types instead of variables you see in other specialities. They often see parents as "obstacles" instead of partnerships. Though I totally understand that their "patient" is the child, they do need to remember that the child belongs to the parent- even when they are patients.

8) They judge each other. Perhaps more then they judge us peons...:-)

9) Based on the blogs- it is "them" against "patients." Many are not happy about us surfing the web and asking lots of questions. Some are accepting that it will change how they practice medicine, and it might be a good thing, but many are not happy at all that they no longer have control of all the knowledge. Even the Drs. who had been patients themselves, tended to analyze the experience from a Doctors point of view. I read a lot of blogs and many are what I would call "unintentionally arrogant" their Dr. point of view is really the only point of view that is right. I suspect this is a coping mechanism but it is still kind of obnoxious.

10) They are twice as worried about the future of healthcare. Though I did read some who were truly worried about patient care, I read a lot of worries about fiscal impacts on their hospitals,and careers. As I said, everybody poops! At the end of the day we are paid to do a job and look out for the company we work for, but we are motivated not by our Companies reputation, but by the money that shows up in our accounts at the end of the day.

11) I have always said I want a fat,older, out of shape, smoker, who eats twinkies and loves TV type of Dr. After reading all the blogs, I want that Dr. even more! A Dr. who has been harshly judged by their peers becomes more human- which makes my experience more comfortable and real.

To all you Drs. out there- we are not the enemy. As healthcare evolves and drastically changes in the next 20 years(it is coming better or worse), and you listen to the Politicians,other Drs.,Professors,Lawyers,Insurers- for goodness sake- Don't forget to listen to us!


The Nearly Med Student said...

Good to read another perspective on health care. I certainly hope I won't evolve in the doctor you describe and I always wonder where it goes wrong. A lot of future docs are very optimistic but somewhere down the line they stop helping patients in a constructive way. And about number 7: you would expect pediatricians to have consciously chosen for a field where you deal with parents, right? I'll certainly keep this post in mind - I think it is one of the most crucial aspects in becoming a good doctor.

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