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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,463
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Reflections on good doctors and not so good

I posted here several times about my bout with intestinal MRSA. I'm OK now, still not 100% but back to my regular routine. Looking back, I realize that from start to finish, I saw or spoke to many physicians. The differences in their care and treatment were rather surprising. It was, in part, a function of their personalities but it was more than that. I learned whom I could count on and who was of little help.

 

My family doctor was very casual about my diagnosis. She made MRSA sound like the sniffles. It was bizarre. Her husband talked to me as if he were delivering a boring lecture on watching paint dry. Since the worst of my illness occurred over the holidays, I was also in touch with a doctor on call who couldn't have been kinder. He went out of his way to explain my condition, he found a pharmacy open on Christmas where he prescribed additional meds to speed my recovery. 

 

Then there was the ER doctor, a kind man whose help I needed when my gastroenterologist, whom I was required to see ASAP, passed the word to me through his nurse that he could do nothing for me and had no appointments open. The ER doctor called him and I was seen within days. Because of an incidental finding, I also needed to speak to my dermatologist, my ENT, and a doctor I see at Yale University once a year. They could not have been more helpful and kind. They all got back to me so quickly I was amazed.

 

I'd love to get rid of the gastro practice but they're the only ones for 60 miles and, when you have digestive issues, traveling far away is sometimes impossible so I am stuck. Still, my ordeal taught me a lot about the range of care that doctors provide. Medicine is a science but it's also an art and some doctors just don't have the talent.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,158
Registered: ‎06-27-2013

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good


@Vivian Florimond wrote:

I posted here several times about my bout with intestinal MRSA. I'm OK now, still not 100% but back to my regular routine. Looking back, I realize that from start to finish, I saw or spoke to many physicians. The differences in their care and treatment were rather surprising. It was, in part, a function of their personalities but it was more than that. I learned whom I could count on and who was of little help.

 

My family doctor was very casual about my diagnosis. She made MRSA sound like the sniffles. It was bizarre. Her husband talked to me as if he were delivering a boring lecture on watching paint dry. Since the worst of my illness occurred over the holidays, I was also in touch with a doctor on call who couldn't have been kinder. He went out of his way to explain my condition, he found a pharmacy open on Christmas where he prescribed additional meds to speed my recovery. 

 

Then there was the ER doctor, a kind man whose help I needed when my gastroenterologist, whom I was required to see ASAP, passed the word to me through his nurse that he could do nothing for me and had no appointments open. The ER doctor called him and I was seen within days. Because of an incidental finding, I also needed to speak to my dermatologist, my ENT, and a doctor I see at Yale University once a year. They could not have been more helpful and kind. They all got back to me so quickly I was amazed.

 

I'd love to get rid of the gastro practice but they're the only ones for 60 miles and, when you have digestive issues, traveling far away is sometimes impossible so I am stuck. Still, my ordeal taught me a lot about the range of care that doctors provide. Medicine is a science but it's also an art and some doctors just don't have the talent.


@Vivian

I hope you are on the mend and I agree with you!  Be well!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,572
Registered: ‎07-29-2012

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

Vivian, you have discovered the bitter truth.  No matter which profession we are talking about, there are the caring and not so caring.  

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎04-30-2012

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

Sorry you've had to deal with so much and I wish for you a complete recovery. God Bless

Valued Contributor
Posts: 874
Registered: ‎07-05-2010

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

@Vivian, I am a nurse & I couldn't agree more with what you so eloquently stated in your post.  It is important to share experiences like yours, so people realize that doctors are *not* gods & some are better than others.  Mistakes happen for all types of reasons, in all types of fields.  I think our society is harshest on the people who are supposed to care for us when we are most vulnerable (the medical field, law enforcement, military, heads of church or state), judging each & every person in that field with the same sweeping judgement brush, which is crazy.  We are all individuals coming from many different experiences that color or discolor our actions, and just being in a certain profession does Not make us infallible or saints!  

 

Thank you for sharing.  I'm very glad you are feeling better, finally.  I had a similar experience with MRSA, having contracted it from a contagious patient before it was known.  The infection control nurse was freaking out about it, while a doctor was blase & acted like it didn't matter at all.  I was told at one time that if you have ever had MRSA & mention it when in the ER or when hospitalized, they usually put you in a single-patient room.  This was years ago, not sure if they still follow this as a protocol, but you might want to keep it in mind. If you ask, you'll probably get many different answers, so I suggest you info-gather on your own from sources you trust.

 

SerenityNow!
"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her; still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings." ~Victor Hugo
Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,005
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

Generally speaking, I want my doctors to be extremely COMPETENT, and personality is truly secondary.  That is not to say that I will excuse incomplete or faulty care.  

 

I think it's important, whenever possible, to look up ratings on your physician(s).   

 

My rheumatologist is always listed in the annual Who's Who of Top Doctors in Los Angeles.    She is a godsend.    

 

In your case, just move on.    Selecting doctors, like any profession, can be a process of trial and error.   It is what it is.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,699
Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

My doctor is very sharp and caring BUT recently advised me to change my Diabetes medicine to the new class that just came out.  I did some extensive research on it and (short story) found a study from UCLA's Medical School from 2013 that pointed to everyone having taken it for a year developed tumors (benign that can turn cancerous and do). That this info was found out through animal studies and kept from the public! There is a lawsuit pending.  I'm disappointed that my doctor apparently didn't do her own research regarding this new drug... and probably just took the word of the drug rep ....

OR (and I hate to think it but I do) she has money invested in it.

 

I'm actively searching for another doctor.....

 

I agraee, look up doctor's ratings (mine was extremely high)... and always... always research your meds.... 

 

*~"Never eat more than you can lift......" Miss Piggy~*
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,728
Registered: ‎02-02-2015

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

I hope people using reviews and ratings for doctors will remember to write their own reviews too.

 

Glad you are feeling better.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good


@Vivian Florimond wrote:

I posted here several times about my bout with intestinal MRSA. I'm OK now, still not 100% but back to my regular routine. Looking back, I realize that from start to finish, I saw or spoke to many physicians. The differences in their care and treatment were rather surprising. It was, in part, a function of their personalities but it was more than that. I learned whom I could count on and who was of little help.

 

My family doctor was very casual about my diagnosis. She made MRSA sound like the sniffles. It was bizarre. Her husband talked to me as if he were delivering a boring lecture on watching paint dry. Since the worst of my illness occurred over the holidays, I was also in touch with a doctor on call who couldn't have been kinder. He went out of his way to explain my condition, he found a pharmacy open on Christmas where he prescribed additional meds to speed my recovery. 

 

Then there was the ER doctor, a kind man whose help I needed when my gastroenterologist, whom I was required to see ASAP, passed the word to me through his nurse that he could do nothing for me and had no appointments open. The ER doctor called him and I was seen within days. Because of an incidental finding, I also needed to speak to my dermatologist, my ENT, and a doctor I see at Yale University once a year. They could not have been more helpful and kind. They all got back to me so quickly I was amazed.

 

I'd love to get rid of the gastro practice but they're the only ones for 60 miles and, when you have digestive issues, traveling far away is sometimes impossible so I am stuck. Still, my ordeal taught me a lot about the range of care that doctors provide. Medicine is a science but it's also an art and some doctors just don't have the talent.


I couldn't agree with you more, Vivien.  I won't go into my many, many experiences with all of the docs I've seen, both general practitioners and specialists.  All I can say is some were uncaring and upsetting and some were supportive.

 

However, I will relate my last visit with my GP.  It was a "catch up" visit, not for anything specific.  But we started talking about all of my ailments and how nothing seems to work.  For some reason I became quite emotional, like a dam broke or something.  I have never, ever been one to cry in a doctor's office, but I will never forget what this doctor did.

 

I had looked directly into her face and said I would rather have cancer because at least sometimes that can be treated/cured.  She put her hands on my shoulders and said, "I will never desert you.  I will always be here for you and have your back.  I will do everything in my power to help you, I promise you that.  I will not let you down."

 

I put my face in my hands and lost it, she kept rubbing my shoulders the whole time.  My daughter came across the room, the two of them handing me tissues, and when I looked up, my daughter had tears streaming down her face too.  It was a moment I have never experienced in a doctor's office and I will never forget it.

 

I would have thought my daughter, being chronically ill herself, would have gotten embarrassed at my breakdown and left the office.  But that did not happen.  Few words were spoken after that by any of us.  What had happened didn't require them.

 

 

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,560
Registered: ‎12-31-2013

Re: Reflections on good doctors and not so good

I have a little different take on the post.  Friends of mine swear by their doctor.  Great personality, excellent physician, takes time to explain everything to them, even will call them at home under certain circumstances.  On their glowing recommendation I went to that doctor and found the complete opposite.  My friends have a number of health issues, and I do not, so perhaps that is why when I went back for the follow up to my physical to get blood & other results, I got what I considered to be a brush off.  I did not expect a lot of her time, but she was clearly impatient even just answering the few questions that I had about preventive pneumonia vaccine and a couple of others.   

 

LIke everything else in life, some of us will swear by a provider and others of us will think that same person is completely different.  If a physician doesn't meet my needs, I seek someone who is a better fit no matter what others think.