Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guest Post: Why Doctors Go Unheard

I got an e-mail awhile back from Kelly Kilpatrick who writes articles for Nursing School Search, a site dedicated to helping nursing students find exactly what they're looking for in a school! The articles she writes are very good, and I was sort of surprised that she wanted to guest post on my site. I don't think I was the only person to whom she sent a request to guest post, but unlike some other bloggers, I'm a risk taker. ;) Hee hee. So anyway, on with the awesome guest post!



Why Doctors Go Unheard…

There’s not much sense in going to see a doctor if you’re not going to accept their diagnosis and follow instructions for your treatment, but that’s just what most of us do at some time or the other. We recognize signs of illness and wish to get them checked out, and so we go to a doctor. But there are times when we fail to listen to them, and the reasons are:
  • We may feel the suggested treatment is too aggressive: Some patients get it into their heads that the doctor is out to make more money off them and so, recommends diagnostic tests and medications that are not actually needed. Some feel that they’re under pressure from the drug companies to prescribe their products, especially if the medicine is not life-threatening. Other patients feel that the doctors are scared of being sued for malpractice if any serious disease shows up later, and so, are trying to cover all the bases by taking extra precautions.

  • We may feel the suggested treatment is insufficient: Some doctors are considered too lazy to properly examine the patient and then diagnose his or her condition – they use superficial symptoms to make a hasty diagnosis and prescribe placebo-like medicines. Some patients feel that their symptoms are too strong to be dismissed as just a common cold or a viral fever, and if the doctor pooh-poohs their fears, they get to thinking that they’ve not been subject to the right amount of treatment.

  • They feel the doctor is not competent enough: Some patients feel that they know enough about medicine to tell when a doctor is good and when he or she is not. They may base their decision on the questions the doctor asks and on his or her bedside manner.

So what happens when a patient refuses to accept a doctor’s treatment at face value? Well, if the treatment is perceived as being too aggressive, they may decide to skip a few of the suggested tests or forgo a few of the medicines prescribed. And if the treatment is thought of as being too mild, they may seek another opinion before following the original prescription, or they may decide to change doctors altogether.

The dicey part of not listening to your doctor is that you don’t know if you’re making a big mistake or if you’re just being smart enough to call things as you see them. A large part of medical treatment involves trust; you need to trust your doctor because you are literally placing your life in his or her hands, and when this trust does not exist, it’s time to question your doctor’s diagnosis and seek another opinion. Remember, it’s not the doc who has anything to lose if you decide to leave and go elsewhere; but if your decision is wrong, it could cost you your life. So follow the treatment, one that you trust.


This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of choosing a nursing school. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com

To read other articles from Kelly, try out these links!

The Heparin Conundrum

Caring for the Caregiver

And don't forget to check out the rest of the site over at!

Thanks, Kelly for the wonderful guest post! If you are ever in the guest post-ey mood again, feel free to drop me a line! And that goes for the rest of you as well!

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Dreaming again said...

Interesting ... just today I found myself tuning out a doctor.

The minute he said "lupus" my mind went into tune out seems every symptom they don't understand (but is real) gets lumped into my SLE ...

This one, while not being totally blamed on lupus .. is being ... partially ... the 'Teri's nails''s either the lupus or the gastroparesis (malnutrition as a result of gastroparesis, bad enough to show in lab work)

or ..maybe it's both the lupus and the gastroparesis, we just cant' be sure ...

right now it's not effecting .yada yada yada yada ...he talked to me for about 10 minutes and honestly, I heard lupus and gastroparesis and that's about it.

oh, and come back in 6 months and have your doctor fax me the lab work you get done every month.

If he said something important, he lost me when he said lupus ...