Saturday, March 01, 2008

OHELP

I was surprised to read about the Canadian doctor who recently fired a patient, under what seems like shaky grounds.

Sure, there are probably good cases for a medical dismissal: such as when a patient is extremely rude and abusive. But being a little late for an appointment; is that just cause?

Let's take this a bit further. What if you question your diagnosis and simply want a second opinion? That sounds like a reasonable request. But in our new doctor-as-boss scenario, would this be perceived as an attempted coup d'etat and dealt with swiftly and harshly?

It's a sad state of affairs when, in addition to our regular neuroses, we have to add the fear that the smallest incident could trigger a GP dismissal. And, as a boomer who isn't getting any younger, I don't want to contemplate the alternative.

I consider myself fortunate because I have an amazing doctor, who's smart, kind and down-to-earth, and funny.

My wife isn't so lucky. Last week she went to her MD for a routine visit. She had three things she wanted to discuss. Her practitioner brazenly informed her that she shouldn't bother her with more than two questions per appointment. The doctor couldn't handle more than that.

I was floored. The MD treated my wife like she had a dozen items and sneaked into in the eight items or less checkout line.


When I heard this, I encouraged my wife to speak up. But now I'm not so sure. I don't want to risk getting her fired.

1 comment:

Christine Smith said...

After several years feeling like an "bad patient" every time I visited my GP, I took the brave move of dropping her. Felt most liberating.

Believe it or not, my new doctor shares office space with her! Talk about tense when I sit in the waiting room. But, I don't regret my decision.

My new doctor actually listens to me. Most refreshing.