A doctor with bad bedside manner scolding a patient and caregiver.

Doctor Conversations That Go Awry

I’m sure many of you go with the flow in what is being mentioned and suggested. It has always been the culture that your doctors know it all, and who are we not to believe otherwise. I mean they spent all of those years in med school -- right? Well sometimes, we run across a few physicians whose ethics are questionable, and when it comes to making decisions, circumstances now become cloudy because of questionable and unfortunate bedside manners.

How important is bedside manner?

I’m not sure where the phrase came from but it says a lot when dealing with our doctors who show their negative bedside manner. Merriam Webster defines bedside manner is as the manner a doctor assumes towards patients.

So what happens when you have a painful experience with your doctor? I mean at this stage you’re depending on these men and women to direct you towards the best care, yet first impressions leave a stain if the experience is not what was expected.

My mom's experience with her doctor

When it comes to my mom’s story some of the experiences are cloudy for the exact playback. However, I do remember a lot. I remember getting a call from my mom (we’d speak 2-3 times a day). She was upset and angry about how her doctor was so nasty to her. I’m in my office getting hot and angry about what I was hearing on the other end of the phone. I’m sitting there thinking, "How dare this person disrespect my mother!"

After trying to calm down as I can get emotional and turn up to 10 real quick when my family or friends are hurting, I asked my mom, “So, Mommy what happened”? My mom told me how the doctor was speaking to her, a 63-year-old woman, like she was 10 years old, and it seemed like he had an issue when she asked valid questions about her care. I’m sure many can relate, feeling less than when a simple question is raised, as some in this profession want you to do rather inquire.

Well, that’s not how we do it...for her next appointment, I left my office early to accompany my mother, and to my dismay she was correct. I didn’t doubt her but wanted to see first-hand. Her doctor was a nightmare!! He got indignant with me as well and was gruff with both of us when I addressed his tone. I know things are hazy, but I can remember at a point my mom grabbed my arm when he left the room and said, "Baby let it go" as she didn’t want any issues since he would still need to treat her. Imagine, so afraid now that this person may actually do something sinister to you??

The end result was she got a different doctor, as well as a written complaint by me to his superiors...so interesting how I recalled some of this that was blocked in my memory.

So now what?

If you have had a similar experience, what do you do now? Here are some ways to go about it in a professional and tactful manner:

Too tired to be bothered

I know you're probably tired physically and emotionally and don't want to be frazzled by conversations that you may have taken out of context. So if the doctor refers you to try something that is questionable, do you go with what they suggest? Well, all I can say here is, if you are okay playing the roulette game, that's your decision and unfortunate.

If there's anyone who should feel that their life is the most precious and worth fighting for it should be you. If the fight is in you but you can’t physically and emotionally check what’s going on with your doctor, then reach out to a friend or family member to ask these pertinent questions for you. It’s not acceptable for any doctor to not take your concerns to heart. It’s not okay when our doctors go awry.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile...when you feel like it

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