Friday, October 12, 2007

Your Fault, Not Mine

Some patients seem to think that their doctors – multi and varied from vast specialties – should be solely responsible for their care while they just veg out. Well, I think not.

For one thing it’s not the doc who’s got a bad heart from increased salt intake and fatty foods, bad lungs from smoking 2 packs per day for decades, high cholesterol from too much fat-fried chicken, and the other various diseases that I’m so often seeing. It’s the patient. It's essentially their fault they're in this predicament and they need to take some responsibility with their care, their medicines, and to ensure that every visit is purposeful – not a waste of time for both involved.

Showing up, not knowing why you’re there, not knowing what meds you’re taking other than what they “might” be for, and getting all uppity because we’re asking you what your other docs have been doing or what a test showed is stupid. Just because you think we should have the results doesn't automatically mean we received them, nor does it magically make them appear.

You need to take some effort and ask what was seen, what it means, and what needs to be relayed to your primary physician. Not doing that...well... what kind of care do you expect to get? It’s your life - make an effort to care about it and it makes your doctor's job a whole lot more easier as well.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

For whatever reason people seem so infantilized today (What? Me grow up? What for?). When anything goes wrong in their lives it's never the result of their own choices, but instead someone else's fault. So it stands to reason they won't take responsibility for their own health. As long as they have insurance to pay for corrections, or have access to medical care with the option of paying nothing at all, there's no incentive (so they think) to discipline themselves to work at being healthy.

Clearly, someone or someones are profitting mightily from this mindset.

The thing is, lots of people think it's the doctors profitting, one way or another.

Old MD Girl said...

No doubt, people can make themselves sick with their moronic health choices.

On the other hand, when was the last time you enjoyed a lecture on how whatever bad has happened to you is really your fault. Even if it is true.

Also, it really bugs me when people act like behavior is the cause of *all* disease. I think it makes people feel less vulnerable, like bad things only happen to lazy/fat/non-compliant people.

MSG said...

Ah, OMDG, but the patients that sparked this post were almost entirely at fault and continued to act like nothing was their responsibility. They were not cupable for continuous declines, decompensations, etc. despite eating KFC, drinking large amounts of EtOH, or being noncompliant with tx regimes. It is, unfortunately, rather normal in this Fam med practice.

I agree though - I hate being chastised for my behavior, but at one point you have to grow up and take it like a man (or woman).

Old MD Girl said...

Aw come on MSG! You know I can't resist the temptation to be a condescending know it all! Cut me some slack here, it's been a rough week.

;-)

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