General Question

nayeight's avatar

What do you hate about going to the doctor?

Asked by nayeight (3347points) May 30th, 2008 from iPhone

I hate doctors offices! I hate all the crap with drug advertisements all over it. I hate the magazines, filling out their stupid paperwork, my health insurance company, nurses, even the smell of a doctors office lobby pisses me off! I never want to go, I’m 21 and my mom makes me. I really wish that I could stop going. Does anyone else hate going to the doctor and why?

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48 Answers

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SuperMouse's avatar

Waiting in the waiting room, then being ushered into the exam room, asked to strip down, then sitting there wrapped in those sheets while the doctor takes his sweet time to get to you. This may sound kind of silly, but I also hate that I am expected to call him Dr. So and So, while he thinks nothing of addressing me by my first name.

luminous00's avatar

I hate finding out more things to worry about. Ignorance is bliss.

PupnTaco's avatar

Waiting an hour past my appointment time.

And getting a DRE.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I, too, dislike going to the doctor. I dislike dis-robing for the doctor. I dislike my feet in stirupps. I dislike cold instruments. I dislike blood tests. But, I do like getting a clean bill of health. Nothing eases the mind more than that. Listen to your mother and go to the doctor. You think you don’t like going to the doctor? Try going to the hospital. Try surgery. It can happen. You’re 21 and probably in good shape. Keep it that way and visit the doc once a year. Oh, and don’t forget the dentist!

Bri_L's avatar

The antiquated nature of their record keeping.

That and the stirupps. Im a dude for gosh sakes. I should really switch.

TheTherapist's avatar

Getting on the scale. Haha just kidding. I hate putting on those crappy paper gowns!

eambos's avatar

The rectal exams…

marinelife's avatar

The arrogance.
The lack of respect for my knowledge of my body.
The impersonal, sometimes uncaring treatment.

That said, look around. Some are better than others. Find a doctor you trust and can work with. Ask colleagues and friends for personal recommendations.

Last, it’s better than no care at all.

witchhazel's avatar

There is nothing fun about going to the doctor. On the flip side, I would say be grateful that you can because until health care is better in the US, a lot of people can’t.

mcbealer's avatar

I, too, hate going to the doctor. I wish I could to my dogs’ doctor i.e. vet instead. She is very nice, prompt, and isn’t arrogant. She also answers questions without being condescending.

shilolo's avatar

This is quite the lovefest. @Mcbeater, your vet is happy because she gets paid in cash and there is no malpractice.

marinelife's avatar

@shilolo A little harsh, don’t you think? And was the name mangle done on purpose?

I think you’re just jealous because the vets patients don’t talk back.

mcbealer's avatar

@ shilolo~ no offence taken to your funny typo

In my experience, to be fair, only 2 human doctors have been as professional as the vet mentioned above. ‘Nuff said.
You, shilolo, are very knowledgeable and nice to us flutherites, please don’t take our rantings personally.

shilolo's avatar

@Marina. One thing that med school ingrains is to have a long memory. I seem to recall a discussion we had a while back where you adamantly denied thinking doctors are arrogant, yet it is your very first complaint. Hmmmm. Be happy to link to the discussion for you.

And, (this is not a comment for you specifically, so don’t get your feathers ruffled, but a generalization) I would add that although I think the internet is great, I often wonder why some people feel that doing 30 minutes of research on WebMD qualifies them for self-diagnosis and an argumentative attitude when the doctor disagrees.

marinelife's avatar

@shilolo Hey, guy, I really do not want to get into it with you. I respect your thoughtfulness, your caring, and your patience as you answer medical questions and post on other threads on here. I enjoy Fluthering with you whether we agree or disagree on the issues.

I did not remember saying anything of the kind in that discussion (I assume you mean the alternative medicine thread). When I go back and look, the only reference I can find to arrogance was this exchange:

Excerpt from shilolo post (emphasis is mine): “2. (and 3) I’m not clear on how I misconstrued your points about waiting at the doctor’s office and/or reviewing the chart. To me, they were a veiled swipe at the “arrogance of doctors” to make people wait, and then not take that waiting into account. Apparently I was wrong, but you certainly can feel free to clarify.

My response to that (again, emphasis here is for illustration): “2. OK, I’ll tackle the waiting room thing. No, it was not a swipe at the arrogance of doctors. It was about reciprocal standards and valuing each party’s time equally.”

I definitely meant that in that context. Was there another exchange regarding arrogance? I have more to say in response to your comment, but I want to make sure we are on the same page regarding the reference first.

I can’t really respond to the second part of your comment since I do not do that. If you were referring to the eczema post, I agree with you.

Last, I hope you are not offended by this thread. As mcbealer said, I feel confident that none of it was specifically directed at you. I realize that when one’s profession is being attacked, it is easy to get annoyed.

None of the people in this thread hate all doctors, I will wager. I don’t think that using doctors services and being grateful for them in the specific does not mean that people shouldn’t be able to express complaints about the system and some of its problems as consumers of medical services. If there is some generalization going on here, take it with a grain of salt.

We were never able to agree on this in the other thread, but to me this thread is an exemplar of some of the dissatisfaction out there regarding the medical system in the U.S. that I spoke of in the other thread.

Seesul's avatar

Take into consideration WHY the doc is late before you complain. I personally made the doctor late for an afternoon of appts. once. My son had a brain bleed in the intensive care nursery. They called saying the doctor needed to talk to me, but couldn’t say why. At first they gave me a later appt. but the person making the appt. heard the panic in my voice and called the doctor. He told us to get there as soon as we could and he would talk to us. I am eternally grateful for that one moment of caring. I have even tracked down the doctor (who has since moved across the country) and plan to send him a note when my son gets his Masters.

shilolo's avatar

@Marina. I am more than happy to discuss this with you. Since you, in broad strokes, and in only two words stated firstly “The arrogance,” as your complaint, it seemed to me that you were casting a very wide net. As a writer, you must be aware of the impact such a blunt statement would have. My point was that when I accused you of “a veiled swipe at the arrogance of doctors”, you denied it, but here you are making no bones about your feelings that doctors are arrogant. Do you really mean to tell me that you weren’t making a statement at the time about the arrogance of doctors to make you wait, but now, very generally state that doctors are arrogant, but in other ways? Please explain.

With respect to the second half of my post regarding web research and medical consumerism, every doctor I know has had patients insist that they “know” better than their doctor. Apparently in this day and age, web “research” is a surrogate for 4 years of college, 4 or more years of medical school, 3–5 years of residency, 3–5 years of subspecialty training and the experience that comes with treating thousands of patients. As I said, this wasn’t directed at you, but at the general population. And people wonder why fewer people want to go into general practice?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I hate sitting in the waiting room for usually around an hour and then being called back to the back room which is essentially just another waiting room just without mags or tv. I mean like theres really no reason for a doctors office to get thaaaat backed up. Its not like a restaurant or something where people just walk in. You know before the day starts exactly how many people are coming in. Is it really possible to be that bad with scheduling?

I hate the dentists much worse though, because it has all the crap the doctors has except they sit there and bitch at you the whole time. “You need to floss twice a day, i can see you clearly arent. blah blah blah” STFU im paying you to fix my teeth not talk to me like your my mother.

Seesul's avatar

…and uber, at the risk of sounding like your mother, you’ll be paying a LOT more to a dentist if you don’t floss. Mine told me once a day was enough, though. Your gums matter even more than your teeth, which is why they are trying to save you trouble in later life. Right now, implants can be as much as $10,000 a piece and they have to have suitable bone to put it into for it to be successful. If you don’t take care of the implants, exactly as your mom, the dentist, tells you, they will fail. Of course, you can always keep your teeth in a jar at night.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yes, i know Seesul and i understand all the health risks yada yada. But dentists have this air about them that they are always talking down to you. Why cant you just tell me about it in a nice way instead of scolding me?

They all talk to you like your a five year old. Why cant you just talk to me like im an adult and maybe ill be more accepting whatever it is your trying to say.

When i go to the doctors and i tell them that i smoke they usually say well thats not good for you and tell me some health risks. Not some big speech about how im killing myself slowly and its mandatory i stop now. Unlike the dentists.

shilolo's avatar

By the way, for all those complaining about long waits, here’s what I wrote to Marina several weeks ago regarding long waits.

Marina: “Is there a fee for missed appointments or late patients? If so, what is the average wait time past appointment time for the patients? If it is routinely 15 minutes or more is there a credit on their bill? if the doctor does not show because of an emergency, is the patient’s make up appointment free?”

Me: “See, here you are wanting your cake and eating it too. You are a consumer of medicine. This isn’t an art, or a relationship, its a business transaction. If you are my patient and come in with an urgent issue that requires more time, and I save your life because that chest pain you were having is a life threatening pulmonary embolus, I’ll be damned if I care one iota if the next patient has to wait, and frankly, I think you wouldn’t care either. One day you wait a few minutes more because a patient 3 appointments before you looked like they were about to die, and some other time (I’m not wishing this on you, but just making a point), that patient will be you.”

El_Cadejo's avatar

@shilolo thats all fine and dandy about serious stuff like that but i honestly wait close around 1.5 to 2 hours every single time i go. I find it hard to believe that many people are having life threating issues. I really dont understand how i can be seen faster at places like atlanticare (i dont know if they are around you, but its like a doctors office without appointments juts walk ins) than i can at a place THAT I WAS SCHEDULED TO BE A WHOLE FRICKIN WEEK IN ADVANCE.

Seesul's avatar

@uber…guess i lucked out and got a REALLY great dentist. He doesn;‘t talk down to me at all, has a staff that is terrific (they’ve all been with him for years). They educate as well, which is different than what you are talking about. He just gets frustrated when people spend all this time and money and won’t take his simple advice. Twice a day is a drag, so he cut it down to one really good cleaning and then a quick brush at night. He tells people to use floss, a rubber tip thingy and some a waterpik as well.

I had to have extensive work done because I went head on into a non padded dashboard when I was a little kid, in the days before seat belts, so I know the other end of it. He’s an expert in the implant field, yet has failures only because people won’t follow his instructions to the letter. I couldn’t afford not to, but as you point out, he did it with education and respect…but as Shilolo has pointed out, it goes both ways.

If I were you, I’d discuss that with your dentist and if you don’t get the answer you want, or don’t feel comfortable, search around for a new one, you may really need one some day.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seesul yea, i wish i could have a good dentist like that. Ive been to 4 different ones in my life and they were all exactly the same to me. Unfortunately i cant just go out in search of a different dentist just yet cause im still on my parents insurance. Id rather get bitched at and be free than have a nice guy charging me assloads of money lol

Seesul's avatar

Could it be that the docs at urgent care places are on time more often, because they: don’t have a regular list of patients to be seen in a particular order, don’t you just get the one that comes up next?

They also don’t have the history of the patient to contend with in as great detail and are not called off to emergencies in hospitals. Just some thoughts to add to the discussion.

Bri_L's avatar

@shilolo – What training are doctors given in terms of bedside manner? Customer service is a huge part of every industry, yet in an industry where we are dealing with the most valued commodity it seems to be lacking. I have been very lucky to find a wonderful clinic that as a whole seems to have a great grasp. But boy did I deal with 3 years of solid duds before then. Doctor after doctor whose bedside manor, were it translated to another field, would have been dealt with. If you have a reason for running late fine. But be sorry.

I would add as well that while your point is well taken about we as patients not taking to much stock in research done on the web, there are many of use who use it to help us understand the care given. There are as many doctors I have run into who don’t take time to properly answer questions as I am sure you know who deal with patients who think they know all the answers because of the web.

And finally, I understand you had to go to school a long time to learn what you needed to, and that you have the ability to save lives and such and I have respect for that. Doctors have a habit of reminding people of it. I actually use that in my business. When someone comes to me and asks for a design and then tells me how to do everything I ask them “do you tell the surgeon how to operate?”. But I don’t believe that your schooling or what it is possible for you to do should be the trump card for this debate or question. I am close friends with 2 doctors, 2 nurses and 1 surgeon. Your trying to knock down peoples venting and complaints about issues the broadest of senses with “ER” stats and specific personal experiences. I wish I could be where every you are. It sounds like you and the doctors you know really do care, and I don’t mean that sarcastically.

Finally, I would be no where without my doctors. Accept for one who’s ignorance lost him his license, I am here because of them. On 3 separate occasions they literally saved my life and I am thankful.

And thank you Shilolo for doing what you do!

marinelife's avatar

@shilolo I am not sure how to convince you that the waiting room thing was not in my mind about physician arrogance. It is more about an institutional disregard for patients’ time having value. Doctors themselves are usually not the ones managing their practice or how many patients must be seen in a day.

Sigh. The whole waiting room thread is a red herring to me. I did not mean to introduce it here. I was trying to show the reference in context to see if that was the one you meant.

As to the general discussion, while I stand by my original post on this thread, I have racked my brain and cannot see a positive or constructive outcome to taking that further. If you think there is genuinely a good purpose served by me elucidating the original statement, I can, but I am not sure that I do.

shilolo's avatar

@Bri. You said, “What training are doctors given in terms of bedside manner? Customer service is a huge part of every industry, yet in an industry where we are dealing with the most valued commodity it seems to be lacking.”.

First of all, most medical schools do provide training in bedside manner. Likewise, residency is an opportunity to hone the skills necessary to be an effective, compassionate and supportive doctor. That said, I have a problem with your comment about “customer service”, and this goes directly to what I have been saying, both on this thread and on others. Yes, your feelings towards your doctor are heavily weighted by how she treats you (i.e. her bedside manner). Everyone envisions their doctor as one who can be empathetic, compassionate and thorough. The best doctors usually are. But, and this is my point, medicine should NOT be treated like business transaction as if you were dropping off a package at UPS. This is true for both the doctor AND the patient.

With respect to that answering questions thing, I always suggest generating and bringing a short list of questions. State your priorities when you get there, and be clear. As this thread has shown, doctors are very busy, but you can maximize your time by coming prepared, and not belaboring minor points at the expense of your major issues.

As to your last point, I am not trying to knock down peoples’ complaints. I’m sure they are valid, but, I also feel that people need to have a greater understanding of why their appointments are late sometimes. I maintain that many people want “to have their cake and eat it to”. Everyone wants, when it is their turn with the doctor, to have a full and complete visit, including lots of time for question and answer, explanations, discussions, etc. That’s great! But, if you are scheduled for 20 minutes for a routine visit, and it drags to 40 because you are discussing this or that, then of course the next person will be late. If the doctor hurries you along, then they are uncaring, or worse, but perhaps they are trying their best to keep to their tight schedule. Maybe she just got a phone call from the pathologist about someone’s newly diagnosed cancer, or she reaches a specialist to arrange an urgent consultation, and that takes 20 extra minutes. In general, it can be a real challenge to start and end a visit “on time”, and when you have 15–30 appointments in one day, even one lengthy patient can derail the entire schedule.

@Marina. I understand that you don’t want to elaborate on your (obviously strong) feelings, although I see that you still “stand by [your] post”. We can leave it at that, but in truth, when you make a broad ad hominem argument, you should expect some people to take offense.

shilolo's avatar

Oh, and I should add, I find it kind of “ironic” that many of the posts critical of doctors are tabbed as “great answers”, but all of the pro-medicine, pro-doctor ones are not. Very self-fulfilling.

Seesul's avatar

Maybe that’s why I rarely have a difficult time, I always take a list. If I haven’t written it by the time I get to the office, that’s what I use my waiting time for. I let the doctor know that I have that list as well, and have even had them ask if all of my questions were answered. They seemed to look relieved when they see the list as well. I didn’t know it was not that common. When I’m not feeling well, it’s the only way I can make sure I’ve covered all of my questions and I keep a next time list as well for non-urgent things. If I can’t write it or communicate what I need, I have whoever got me there help me out and even go into the appt., if necessary. I answer all the questions that I can, but if I have trouble, I ask if they can take over.

Maybe if more people did that, appts would be shorter and the wait more acceptable.

marinelife's avatar

Hey, I give you lurve a lot, shilolo! We just have this one area where we disagree. Again, I don’t think the lack of lurve in this thread is a reflection on you, it is a reflection of people’s dissatisfaction with the system.

Not that you as a single individual can fix the woes of medicine, but I think your response to the complaints people are airing here, and the problems they are describing, is reflective of medicine’s response in general.

What I wish instead is that something productive could come of it. I wish the AMA and other professional organizations would have satisfaction surveys performed and really look at the data.

I wish committees of doctors, whoever else is appropriate from the health care side, and individuals could come together and analyze the issues. If each side would really hear the other, perhaps new procedures and best practices could be implemented that wold eliminate some of the issues.

It’s also a lot like tag teaming you, one of the reasons I don’t want to continue discussion of fraught issues.

Bri_L's avatar

I would like to commend Shilolo for standing as a lone doctor. Especially in a post that was to bring on a vent towards the profession.

We wont attack Designer/animator/illistrators because that would be like kicking Santa.

marinelife's avatar

Edit my previous post: 4th Graph 3rd Line would (not wold).

marinelife's avatar

@Bri_L Not me. Can’t draw or do graphics. As a writer, I need designers, animators and illustrators too much!

shilolo's avatar

I wasn’t begging for lurve, just making an observation about the degree of negativity on this thread (at least “negativity” from my perspective).

There is no simple solution. People want top notch care, a doctor who takes the time to listen but also nails the diagnosis, every time. This has to occur on a precise schedule, so that no one ever has to wait. This doctor should embrace the “wellness model” and behaves like some sort of faith healer who enters a room with flowing robes and a light, fragrant breeze. At the same time, she should be well read on all of the new studies, medications and treatments. Of course, this can’t cost too much, nor should anyone have to pay out of pocket for extra time spent. This doctor should answer her own phone calls and emails, and return them within minutes of their receipt. Am I missing something from my description of Frankendoctor?

marinelife's avatar

Sigh. That isn’t what I want. There is, however, a continuum between what we have now and your Frankendoctor. Again, the latter does not represent my expectations.

I just think we can do better than what we have. That does not take away from the good work being done now.

shilolo's avatar

I guess here’s what Frankendoctor would look like…

marinelife's avatar

Isn’t that Santa Claus? :)

Seesul's avatar

Maybe it’s part of “microwave syndrome”. Until I was well out of college, I had to wait for hours to taste my mom’s great cooking, but somehow we were kept busy, entertained and laughed a lot while waiting for those meals (and the less than 12 channels of TV were kept off if it was a school night). I guess I just developed more patience somehow and more appreciation when I didn’t feel good and got some relief.

shilolo's avatar

Might as well be. Gotta love Andrew Weil… Or maybe the famous Oliver Sacks, immortalized by Robin Williams in the movie Awakenings (before Robin Williams was replaced by the Unfunny Man Formerly Known as Robin Williams). The beard, thats what I need…

Bri_L's avatar

I think Doctors also have to deal with a level of the unknown. I run into that in design. I don’t know what I want but I know what I I don’t want. I can’t answer any of your questions on what were looking for but how come you can’t give me 11 complete comps. I imagine that doctors have to deal with patients who, in a short appt. time, can’t or wont or both tell them what is up. Making it worse is the emotionality we all feel when dealing with our own health or the health of a loved one. My wife is an OT and she said the obstinance the people had for her was incredible. She had to see people, one and hour for 8 hours and then do 30 min. of paper work per patient. every day. it all ads up to nobody being happy

marinelife's avatar

The beard, that’s the ticket!

buster's avatar

i hate it when they whack you in the knee with that hammerthing.

delirium's avatar

I guess I just want to state that I, for one have only received medical care I was not fond of once. I’ve been to more doctors and specialists by 19 than most people do in their whole lives. The one incidence of less than desirable care was my quick stint looking in to holistic medicine. (oh yeah, there was one mean nurse once too)
I have always made it a policy to treat my doctors not as people working for me or people who must do what I want but instead like respected gurus of a sort. The climb to the mountain top may be long and require lengthy detours but the assurance of knowledge I get from them is worth every second.

(ps. @Batman I I have never had a cavity and have never been scolded by my dentist. I think caring for my teeth perfectly may relate to that. If there is an issue it is their responsibility to try and fix it. Even if it is, at its core, a human one.

Bri_L's avatar

@ delirium – I like what you said, and wanted to tell you. As I stated before, I go to the doctor because I am not one and they are. I to have had more good experiences than not.

jeremysallen's avatar

i really just hate waiting in a room full of people…..who are also sick…

Bri_L's avatar

Welcome Jeremy!

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