Dumbass doctor

I had such an irritating experience at the doctor’s office today.

My doctor works out of a clinic, which I like because I can go see any doctor who is working if I need something minor, and she still has my complete file when I do see her. This year, with everything that has been going on with me, I have been choosing to go see her exclusively, even for things like perscription refills.

So I called the office and heard on the recording that she would be working until 1pm. I busted getting ready and got to the office by 12:45. Then I stood at the front desk for about five minutes while the many office workers chatted, wandered by on tasks, and basically completely ignored me. By the time someone came to help me, I was already aggravated.

I stated that I wished to see my doctor and got the flat response, “She’s done for the day.”

“Oh,” I said, “Your recording states that she is here until 1pm. Is that incorrect?”

There was a slight pause. “She left already. She was done early. You can see another doctor.”

Oh I can? Thank you so much for explaining my options to me!

As I left my prescription refill until almost the last minute, I agreed to see the first available doctor. He turned out to be a sixtyish man who asked way too many questions for a simple refill.

Have I taken this medication before? What is the dosage and how many times a day? What am I taking it for? What else am I doing to treat my depression? You’re not doing any exercises? Oh, you have a torn ACL. Well, you can still do arm exercises (this illustrated with him doing an arm curl, in case I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about). Nothing to stop you from keeping those in shape.

First of all, my doctor is his colleague. I felt that by him asking all these questions, he was calling into question her competency to treat me.

Secondly, as this was a refill and not a request to start a medication to treat depression, I don’t see why he felt he needed to ask any of the follow up questions. What am I doing to treat my depression? I’m taking my fucking medication, asshat! Give me my prescription before I go all ninja on your ass!

Thirdly, I have no idea what arm exercises are supposed to do to treat my depression, since I’m fairly sure that cardio activity is needed to pump endorphins through the body, and no one I know gets an endorphin rush from curling 10lb weights.

And fourthly, I have absolutely no need for a stranger to talk to me about ‘keeping in shape’. Considering he had no base line to know what my body has ever looked like previously, it’s obviously that he had a moment of ‘omg fattie!!’ Let me just say again for the record: DO NOT WANT.

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4 Responses to Dumbass doctor

  1. marmot says:

    I’m always amazed that while doctors go through years and years of school, it doesn’t seem they learn much about communicating with patients – I really hope this is changing nowadays, but honestly I’m not up on the med school procedures. Still, I get annoyed after hearing case after case of doctors who seem to lack the basic people skills to effectively and respectfully talk – and listen! – to their patients.

    ‘Zat said, I do wonder if your replacement doctor was asking you about exercise simply because of the plethora of research that’s coming out suggesting that exercise is at least as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression – and this includes gentle exercise like walking, not necessarily cardio-bustin’ moves. Exercise boosts serotonin and dopamine, which might explain this. Anecdotally, as someone who has lived with depression for 26 years, I do think my daily bicycling I started this year has had a major impact on my mood regulation. Please note that I’m not recommending (to anyone!) to drop meds and replace them with exercise, but just that it’s something to keep in mind and discuss with your regular doctor.

  2. rock_grrl says:

    This reminds me of the time I went to the clinic at SFU for my six-month STI screening (because, you know, I’m a responsible sexually active adult) and was told I was CLEARLY bi-polar because I enjoyed having sex with multiple partners. *headdesk*

    The doctor’s puritan values were vomited all over me until I finally had to put up my hand, thank her for her unwanted advice, and ask AGAIN for the damn STI screening and DOUBLE CHECK she knew what STIs I wanted to be tested for (yes, all of them thank you).

    Sometimes doctors can be so incredibly thick it is painful. THIS is why I am seeing midwives for my prenatal care. They at least know the difference between an intelligent patient and one who needs “teaching”.


  3. erin says:

    Marmot, I agree absolutely that even light exercise can play a role in helping with depression. At least, speaking anecdotally, it plays a part for me. I’m planning on doing yoga once my knee heals enough, and I’m very excited to get back into an exercise routine.

    However, what the doctor did not seem to grasp is that I have a ‘broken’ knee – I can’t do a lot of exercises. I even told him I’m going to physio to strengthen my knee and leg for surgery and that did not seem to be enough.

    I also hate the attitude that I get sometimes from doctors, that I am an idiot and cannot possibly have any idea of how to best deal with my health and my body (which is perfectly illustrated by rock_grrl’s account).

  4. MonkeyPants says:

    My dad has a saying for this: 50% of doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class.

    I love my GP, but there have been other times when I have seen other doctors, and I have been really unimpressed.

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