Pet peeves

30 07 2008

#1. I hate it when patients or patient’s family members worship doctors like a god (and MSWs like dirt). Notice the contrast. It was stark today. This lady vented her frustrations on me, she was basically unhappy with the progress (or the lack of it) in pt’s treatment and I told her to clarify with the doctor. She continued to pour out her frustrations on me and said “how long more? YOU TELL ME, she is not getting better”. Anyway, I got the doctor to come. She became so meek. All her anger and frustration vanished into thin air. The doctor even told her pt may not heal completely, she accepted it without saying anything.

I think it is not fair (yea I know that nothing in life is really fair) – how is that patients can accept it when doctors say they are doing their best and yet, complete recovery may never come.. versus that of when social workers say we are not able to help, they ask ‘then what are social workers for?’. I think it is only fair that they extend the same grace that is given to doctors to MSWs. The power imbalance is gross.

And also, how objective is medical science? Are doctors always right all the time? A portion of decisions are made based on the doctor’s judgment and sensitivity. The scales and measures they use change with changing times and societal conditions. The definition of fatness and obesity 50 years ago is vastly different from that of today’s.

#2. It irritates me when doctors don’t treat patients like humans.

This house officer went like ‘she is so demented. seriously. you can’t trust what she says’ in a really cocky and condescending (and hello? This is not even a consultant or what, this is a house officer). These doctors should take a module on basic manners and courtesy, oh yea, and a module on how to make eye contact and basic communication skills as well. I think it’s really sad.. especially if they start out wanting to help people, or be heroic and save lives.. but end up treating people like dirt.

Having said all that.. I think it could be because I’m new and inexperienced. It amazes me how the sup interacts with the nurses and doctors. A doctor who treated me like a parasite actually greeted my sup when he saw him in the ward. But at the same time, it makes me question how much of what I do is valid and really good work. I suppose with time and experience I might be able to answer that question better.

Now to the nice ones…

#3. This doctor who bothered to be polite.. who knows the meaning of eye contact.

#4. I was discussing a patient’s discharge plans with this doctor.. and I asked a question.. he said “that’s a good question”. HAhaha. It’s only good because he doesn’t know the answer. I may be wrong, but this doctor certainly seems genuinely nice and treats patients like humans.

#5. This is my favourite doctor. The sup calls him Mr Nice Guy. He really is. He doesn’t even say “I’m DOCTOR so and so”, he just introduces himself by his name. This is a consultant. Not a house officer! So humble! And he bothers to know people by name. Most other doctors just know you as the MSW, period.

So, yea. I don’t hate doctors.. it takes all sorts to make the world la.

Anyway, I’m really thankful for wonderful colleagues.. very supportive. I still feel spent after work, but their support and sweetness really buffer that. I’ll continue to learn.. and hopefully get better and more confident.

A song from 五月天

常常我 豁出去 拚了命 走过却没有痕迹
可是我 从不怕 挖出我火热的心
手上有一个硬币 反面就决定放弃 嗝屁
但是啊在我心底 却完完全全不想放弃
常常我闭上眼睛 听到了海的呼吸是你
温柔的蓝色潮汐 告诉我没有关系
就算真的 整个世界 把我抛弃
而至少快乐伤心我自己决定
所以我说 就让他去 我知道潮落之后一定有潮起

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