Imagine my delight reading the August/September’ AARP magazine. On page fifteen: “Is it time to divorce your doctor?”
The content fits right in with what I’ve written about doctors’ therapeutic communication skills, or lack thereof.
Author Caroline E. Mayer lists six reasons why it may be time to change doctors, all dealing with “substandard communication” ranging from “tone-deaf bedside manner” to “too-quick exams.”
Here’s my interpretation, keeping her list in mind, of what a doctor may say for you to turn on your heels and dart for the door:
1. Lois, all your problems are just due to aging. (Really now, could they be due to something else, or are you too lazy to figure them out? Or could it be you just don’t know what you’re doing?)
2. Lois, there is nothing else I can do for you. I’ve done everything. (Do you know you’ve just taken away all hope???)
3. Lois, get to the point will you? (No time to spend with me? Who is paying whom?)
4. Lois, I’ll just write you a prescription. (Please hear me out. I don’t want to be just a prescription patient! Could it be you don’t know what else to do for me?)
5. Lois, you should start running outdoors, preferably out in the country with fresh air. (Do you even know, or care, that I live in the city and my knees are not so good and I’m out of shape? Do you know anything about me?)
6. Lois, I’ll do some tests, write some prescriptions, and give you a few referrals to specialists. (Really now. Are you just trying to keep me busy? Or trying to make me feel like you’re doing something? Do you see me as just a little old 71-year-old lady to humor and move on?)
Tomorrow, September 24, I’m going to be seen at Mayo Clinic for the persistent itching I’ve been writing about. Hope and pray with me that everyone I meet has great therapeutic communication skills! And I come away with answers!
(Written/scheduled on 9/14/13 as I’m going to a writing workshop first in the Blue Ridge Mountains with my friend Marianna, then off to Mayo!)