Things I Would Like to Tell my Patients
1. Don't assume that every doctor in the world runs late. I rarely do. Please be on time.
2. Bring a list of your medications. If you don't have time to make a list, just throw them all in a bag and bring them with you. Please don't assume that I intuitively know what changes the specialists made to your medications, and please don't think that I'll be able to translate "you know, the white pill-- it's kind of round?" into meaningful information.
3. Don't freak out if you're in for a pap smear and you haven't trimmed your bikini line. I don't notice. I don't care.
4. Please don't bring two other members of your family with different problems and expect me to deal with them all. I like to run on time, and people who expect me to deal with their headaches, their son's asthma and their husband's depression in one time slot make this impossible.
5. If you come in with a problem and I perscribe something to fix it, don't expect the problem to resolve if you decide not to take the medication. And then don't come it two weeks later and tell me the medication 'didn't work'. It only works if you fill the perscription.
6. If you experience a minor side effect while taking a medication, call my office and let me know. Don't take yourself off of your medication so that when you come in 3 months later for follow up your previously controlled hypertension is 190/100 mmHg.
7. When you call the office and ask for an urgent appointment for a non-urgent problem, please don't reject all 3 appointment times offered and go to a walk-in clinic. We're trying to accomodate you. And when you come back in a week with the same complaint, we have no access to tests that have been done or what they tried to do for you.
8. No one is asking you to be a doctor, but PLEASE know a little something about your own medical history. Telling us that you had three operations in the past five years but you're not really sure what they were for doesn't help at all. And mentioning that they may have been for some kind of cancer doesn't really narrow the possibilities.
9. Be honest. I'm not here to judge your drinking/smoking/drug use/sexual practices, but they do affect your health care and how I approach your management. Don't lie to me. It only hurts you in the long run.
10. If you're convinced that all western medicine is evil and that all doctors are just out to medicalize everything and exploit your health problems for profit, maybe you should be seeing some other kind of health practitioner. It's a waste of my time and yours if you're just going to sit there and eye me suspiciously, then shoot down every suggestion I make with "I don't believe in taking medications/physiotherapy/lifestyle modifications". What are you hoping I can do for you?
It was a frustrating week.
Labels: family medicine