It seems like all I ever do is rant on the blog. Aish. Angst is me. I promise the next 2 posts (after this) will not be! 😀
Today, I will like to talk about the bedside manners (or whatever it is) of doctors. I truly truly think that other than being good at what they do, good doctors need to have excellent communication skills.
I have been on the receiving ends of doctors who argues with each other in front of you. Who just tells you that you need to go for another brain surgery without suggesting alternatives or explaining why. These doctors gave my entire family quite a huge scare and caused quite a huge amount of confusion.
Doctors in hospitals aside, let’s talk about GPs. The doctors in the clinics in our neighborhood. Let me rant through 2 examples.
The new clinic downstairs
A new clinic opened downstairs! WOOHOOO! Convenience! GREAT! WRONG!
Back in August, I had really terrible headaches. Headaches that can bring tears to my eyes. So, I went down to the clinic for a check-up. The doctor was rather young. Asked me the necessary questions, did a few checks and announced that the headaches could be because of dry eyes. Great! I was quite impressed with the doctor! He was rather friendly too!
A week later, the eyedrops didn’t work. The headaches were still hanging around. I decided to go back. The same questions, the same checks. He insisted that it was because of the dry eyes. I told him that the eyedrops DIDN’T WORK. He hmm-ed abit and gave me some painkillers. Then he asked if I wanted MC, I told him it would be good. And this is what he said,”You are making the headache up, aren’t you! You just want an MC!” WTF!!! I laughed and went out.
A month later, I got the cold! As I ended work late and can’t make it to the clinic at the market, I had no choice but to head to him again. This time, I told him my symptoms. He didn’t even bother to listen and just took my temperature before going, “So how many days of MC do you need this time?” SERIOUSLY, DOCTOR?! If I want to skip work, I can TAKE LEAVE you know. I have like 15 days to clear before June, yo! I don’t need to fake MCs!!
Never went back to him again.
The self-help machine
This clinic opens till midnight and used to have pretty excellent doctors.
I remembered having high fever a week after I started week and was sent home. My mum was angry with me for being sick so I didn’t dare to ask her to go to the doctors with me even though I felt like I can collapse at any moment. So I went to the clinic alone and the doctor there was so nice! He was very warm and fatherly! He took my temperature, check my ears, throats, mouth and hands. Made small conversations and gave me instructions to take care of myself. He took a look at me and gave me 2 days MC. He said, “I know you want to go back to work. But young lady! You are sick and you might spread the virus to your colleagues! Go home and rest! Shoo!” I left the clinic smiling and feeling slightly better.
But the nice doctor is now gone 😦 It’s replaced with this dodgy-looking doctor that smokes and REFUSE to look you in the eyes.
I was down with a cold after CNY. Terrible throat and runny nose. Went to the doctor after work and this was what happened. I went in and the doctor DIDN’T look up or said hello. I went in and sat down. I didn’t say anything cos he looked busy. Nothing after half a minute. AWKWARD! So I thought I should start. I related my symptoms and told him I think I have a flu. He took my temperature and said sternly, “It’s a cold. Not flu. Do you need MC?” SERIOUSLY?! I am not a doctor okay? I can’t tell the difference! Instead of just telling me that I am wrong, maybe you can let me know the difference between a cold and a flu?
PLUS! Dear doctor, take a look at me. I have a runny nose. My voice sounds a toad. My eyes are swollen. DO YOU THINK I NEED A MC? OF COURSE I DO! Needless to say, the medicine he gave me DIDN’T WORK! I had to self-medicate in the end.
I went to him again on Sunday cos of my stiff neck. It’s been bothering me for a week and I just can’t take it any longer. Thought I should go and get myself some muscle relaxant. I waited TEN MINUTES in an EMPTY clinic for this doctor! When he came back, he smelled like CIGARETTES! SERIOUSLY? As usual, he avoided eye-contact. But this time, he went, “Yah *looks at card* Huishan. Ah. Yah.” I assume that means he is asking me what’s wrong? So I told him I have had stiff neck for the past week.
He didn’t even ask which side it was or press the shoulders to see if it’s a strain or a sprain or a nerve infection!! And just said,”Do this and this and this and this. Should be your sitting posture. Will give you muscle relaxant. Do you need MC?” SERIOUSLY? You and I both know that MUSCLE RELAXANT causes drowsiness. LOOK AT ME, DOCTOR! I can’t even turn to look at you properly. DO I LOOK LIKE I DON’T NEED A MC?! So I was rather sarcastic and told him, “Yes, I don’t want to fall asleep at work. One day will be nice.”
The extra touch is needed, yo!
What’s wrong with the new doctors these days? What happened to their bedside manners? Or common sense?
The reason patients go to you is yes, to get some medicines. But more importantly, to tell them what’s wrong. Yes, we may already know what is wrong with us. But it helps to have someone more “knowledgeable” to tell us more.
If all you do is listen to our symptoms and dispense medicines, then YOU SUCK! Because, if that’s the case, someone should just invent a machine that allow us to a)input all our symptoms, b)input our temperature, c) match symptom to illness, d) dispense the appropriate medicine and last but not least, e) ask the question, “Do you need MC?”
You should listen to our symptoms, do the necessary checks and based on your observations, give the relevant advice and diagnosis. Look at your patient before asking, “Do you need MC?” Because frankly, if your patient can’t even breathe through his nose or turn her neck, don’t you think a MC is necessary WITHOUT even asking?
Make eye-contact to show that you are listening. Don’t smoke while you are working! Smile! Start off with, “Good morning/afternoon/evening! How are you feeling today?” Observe your patient. When everything is done, end it with, “Have plenty of rest!”
I miss those old friendly fatherly doctors T_T I really do!