tkd3g Member Posts: 767
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
This experience just popped into my head reading Kathryn's post.

We have to remember, or should I say, make the doctors remember that we are people first and patients second.

This has nothing to do with cancer, but doctors.

I have a pediatrician for my three girls. When she opened up her practice we were one of her first patients. That was over 10 years ago. Because the practice was just starting out, there weren't a tremendous amount of patients. Whether that was the reason she spent good quality time with us, or not, I don't know.

We actually became friends. Nothing social, but we did share much about our lives. I remember when her brother died, she called me and we spoke at length. Which is the reason for this post.

Prior to her brother's accident, I had been in to see her with my little girl. My middle daughter has multiple severe disabilities. She understood our situation, because she, herself, had two brothers that were mentally handicapped. Maybe that's why we were close?

Anyway, I forget what was going on with my daughter, but it wasn't very serious. My doctor called the next night , just to see how Em was doing. I made a strong point of thanking her for her thoughtfulness. She didn't need to call, she wanted to.

You have to understand that in the few years leading up to this and many other visits, we consulted with just about every kind of doctor there is about my daughters "syndrome". Tests, and hospitals, and more tests, and bloods, it just never ended. My point is that we saw many, many doctors. None had the compassion that she did.

So, here is my point of this story... Her brother died in an accident in a group home. She, a doctor, rushed to the hospital. There she was met with resistance, rudeness, lack of empathy, and very little knowledge of her brother's condition. My Doc was in her "white doc coat" and still treated badly. She was floored by the way the doctors treated her. She had, in essence, become the "patient".

She called me soon afterward and wanted to say thank you. You see, she didn't understand why I thanked her for calling that night to check on Emma. She didn't understand what that meant to me. Now she did.

Doctors have to remember that we are people first.

Yes we want the best, and maybe they aren't the best with bedside manner, but really folks, we deserve better.

I have to admit, my pediatricians office has grown leaps and bounds. I don't see her much, because I take any doc I can get. ( by the way, they are all wonderful) But, sad to say, I have seen this office become more of a "mill" than it should be.

Maybe I should remind her of that phone call.

Don't take second best. We deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and empathy. And if you're not getting it, maybe we should remind these docs that we are peolple. We are moms and dads and brothers and sisters, daughters and sons.

And so my story ends.

( I am very emotional today. I am waiting for my bloods to come back and for the first time, I don't feel good about it. I'm scared. I am saddened by those who are struggling and losing this battle. I pray for my semi-colon family everyday.)



  • alihamilton
    alihamilton Member Posts: 347 Member
    Hi Barb, that is a most meaningful and emotional post. Maybe we should all send it to the doctors who treat us and our loved ones! I am not sure what happens to so many of them after they finish training. Maybe they see so much pain and suffering and death that they harden themselves to it all, thus showing little or no compassion to the patient. It is scary though and when you do find a caring professional, he or she is so special!

    I hope your tests come back with good results. Let us know.

  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    Dear Barb,

    What a beautiful heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My aunt has a special needs daughter so I know the daily struggles you face.

    Please let us know your blood work results and I pray they are all normal.


  • spongebob
    spongebob Member Posts: 2,565 Member
    Barb -

    What a great post and a positive message for us to take with us.

    Be well and I hope your bloods come back good.

    Love ya, darlin'

    - SpongeBob
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    I guess I was the black sheep in Kathryn's message. Yes, good, caring doctors are a blessing and a godsend. I was not in that post suggesting incompetance should be tollerated, but just my experience with my oncologist that kept me at arm's length at the beginning, only to warm. She told me her heart breaks everytime a patient loses the battle. She works hard to stop it, but sometimes it goes too far. Some of the anger needs to be placed where it belongs, with this monster that is ever-hungry for people. But do I support malpractice? ABSOLUTELY NOT! And, if you have a choice of doctors, get one you like. I had one that came highly recommended, and he scared me to death. I have an HMO and so I had to fight to go out of network.
    All I am saying is remember that if it is just being a cold fish, there may be other reasons, and talking with them NOT DEMANDING can make a big difference, did for me. You know what did it for me? I told her I was frightened. That was all. Changed her completely.
    Venting my spleen (luckily, still have That organ!)
  • jana11
    jana11 Member Posts: 705

    I agree. As a doctor, and a teaching physician I am constantly trying to teach the future doctors of our country one important theme: treat others as you would like to be treated.

    It is a very extreme idea. Despite being a doctor and getting "special" treatment, I often lecture my caregivers. I HATE having to do it!

    You post is very important. Equally as important, and contained in your message; is to remember to thank people when they provide good care. It makes my day when people smile, thank me, hug me, etc.

    I guess we all need to try to live a happy life, and spread that joy to others.

  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
    Barb - what a great story and what a great message. Thanks for sharing.

    What I and all of us want so much is to be treated like human beings. Unfortunately some physicians need to be reminded of that.

    And best wishes for you and your kids.

  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105 Member

    Barb - what a great story and what a great message. Thanks for sharing.

    What I and all of us want so much is to be treated like human beings. Unfortunately some physicians need to be reminded of that.

    And best wishes for you and your kids.


    Barb...a lovely message for us all and the reality is pretty hardhitting too. Much of the problem today I think is that with medical facilities in many countries become overloaded doctors seem to have to limit their time to each patient. Here in oz the standard appt. is only 15 minutes. can ask for a double appointment and get 1/2 hour but even that is so little time to really "talk" about ones ilness let alone be able to address ones emotions. I do think that solid evaluation of ones emotions is extremely important for all illnesses and being able to recognise this should of great concern to doctors.I agree that in some ways they need to turn off and not get too personal....but I also think that quality time for compassion must be as much a priority as discussion on the illness itself.
    I guess some see dealing with the physical much more important than dealing with our minds.....and the time they have in very busy clinics prevents them from doing that. Having said that it does not excuse the "stand-offish" approach some patients experience.
    btw.....say hi to Em from us in oz.....and the rest of your family,
    Huggs, Ross and Jen
  • terril
    terril Member Posts: 296
    I believe docs will sometimes forget that they are dealing with humans. This is very sad because the emotiional component of medicine is missing. We crave this part!!! We want comfort during trama as well as happiness. My prayers and thoughts to you and your family. Positive vibes for good blood results. Terri
  • goldfinch
    goldfinch Member Posts: 735
    Hoping for good results for you!