Arrogant doctors have a hat they love to wear. It says, “Armed with my several years of training, how could you possibly know anything? You’re the patient!”.
1. Never listen to an arrogant doctor. They will never listen to you, the patient.
2. Arrogant doctors forget that in their vast knowledge of learning, they cannot know everything. They certainly ‘don’t know it all.’ Invest your time with a doctor who says, ‘I don’t know, let me get back to you.’ Their honesty is a good sign that they will get to the bottom of it.
3. Be wary of a doctor’s surgery where the plants are dying.
4. Arrogant doctors simply forget that we already hold a regard for them because of their years and years of training; that they know more than Mr. Average when it comes to medicine (they have a handle on 20% of all known diseases? Is that right?). So this regard is a given. We won’t mention that the title, ‘Dr.’, was an accolade given to Ph.D. doctors, hijacked by General Practitioners, embracing it as their own. Take it. Feel better now? Now please, step down from your mighty high chair and please, keep in mind that you are a public servant.
5. Arrogant doctors are very skilled at rubbishing their opponents, dismissing patients with stealth, particularly when they are faced with uncertainty, lack of understanding or gaps in their knowledge. Arrogant NHS doctors will almost certainly dismiss private doctors, calling them charlatans without any grounds or substance.
6. Beware also the complacent doctor. Arrogant doctors and complacent doctors share similarities that can be potentially dangerous. Both can afford to shrug off a patient’s serious concerns and in doing so, jeopardize a patient’s life. Perhaps I think, come judgement day- either through their own conscience or when standing in front of some perceived celestial presence- they can always pull out that special pass that explains, “I’ve saved many more lives than almost everyone here.” If it’s a case of ‘Countdown to Karmageddon’, they are safe.
7. Doctors are human and will behave just as dastardly as any fiercely competitive human being, pulling out of their tool box, any array of positive and negative characteristics. My mother on one occasion had to intervene when two surgeons came very close to physically disagreeing with each other and my other half has witnessed a consultant jump over a table to punch the lights out of another one. Which supports my next point:
8. Doctor’s judgements are subjective, arbitrary and not scientific if not supported by tests. When practicing, doctors make their decisions based on how they are trained. Slap a ten page comprehensive laboratory test result with clear findings on their table -findings based on samples tested by stringent labs from the continent; rigorous, exploratory tests that the NHS could never match – the arrogant or complacent doctor will dismiss this hard evidence because a) It wasn’t conducted in an NHS lab (it couldn’t be. Most research labs here used to do basic science testing but have now been converted into genetic research labs. Ever wondered why you hear more and more stories in the press, about people gong across the continent or to the states to get basic tests done for suspected illnesses?) b) They will always rubbish the opponent. See #5. These doctors, rather than embrace fresh evidence seem to take it as a personal slight to their own efforts, or lack of. And may even laugh at you (watch your respect for doctors crash to an all time low) c) It exposes a gap in their knowledge and that just won’t do. d) They have already decided what your diagnosis is so what on earth are you presenting them, a doctor, with?
9. The diagnosis they give you can only be is speculative. Your illness is the bullseye on the archery board. The bow is the treatment. One is fired. Then another if the last one didn’t work, and another, and another, and so on. This is how they work.
10. Speculative because take the same ailment to a different doctor and receive completely different treatments. Well, they can’t all be right, can they? But give them some hard evidence like a lab test result and they will revert to making decisions based on how they were trained. They can’t do their own tests because the NHS labs aren’t there. But instead of spending some time to read results and join up the dots and then critically, take action upon it…? Often it’s the arrogant and complacent doctors.
11. Doctors are tired. We get that. They are underfunded, overstretched and understaffed. However, there’s no excuse for bad bedside manners. Bad bedside manners are unforgivable. A good bedside manner has mileage in making the whole doctor-patient experience a pleasant one. I was so bowled over once, by a locum Indian GP. His dashing looks, the way he spoke, his charismatic charm, was so attractive that I joked with the receptionist on the way out that I wished to make an appointment for the following week so that I could see him again (rest assured, I didn’t). Be vigilant that a good bedside manner does not distract from getting effective treatment. Good manners can be used to hide apathy towards patients. A doctor behind a saccharine smile can decide that no further exploratory investigations should be taken, though won’t tell you this. ‘Review in x months’ is just putting you on the back burner. Do not underestimate how dangerous this could be. Had we not persistently intervened, with such a doctor, it is highly likely that our daughter would be dead by now.
12. If you’ve ever wondered why doctors can seem a little thin on advice about nutritional health then look up how much training they receive on this during their several years of medical training.
13. This is not news but I’ll say it. Doctors are in bed with the pharmaceutical industry.
14. At our peril, our homegrown doctors are not up to date with some modern medical breakthroughs that many of the continental doctors and international doctors accepted years ago and have identified treatments for. We lag behind, are not current and the culture that existed of superior British health service is flat lining.
15. On a good note, there are some truly wonderful doctors out there. Lots of them. Private and NHS. Find them. We have met some. They know who they are because we have made it very clear to them how much we appreciate their commitment, integrity towards their work , towards doing the right thing and to pursuing correct treatments. They do not wear the hat of superiority like the Emperor wears his new clothes. They are not arrogant or complacent. When you find these very special people, please, please, please don’t forget to thank them. Truly, madly and deeply.
More about this later. In the meantime, what have been your experiences with doctors and the British medical system? Or anywhere else? I would love to read about it.