Can I Get Some Privacy Please? Some Courtesy Would Be Nice Too.
A few weeks ago I had to visit my doctor. Going to see my doctor or any other medical professional for that matter, is not my cup of tea. Probing, prodding, inserting and wearing unflattering hospital gowns…No wonder I am not the happiest person in the waiting room.
Another reason I hate being there is the service that I’ve come to expect. It’s sometimes not much of a service. One would think a clinic is staffed by compassionate people who are trained to show empathy and understanding with emphasis on patients’ confidentiality but this is not always the case. Sometimes it seems like some of these receptionists, nurses or doctors have a chip on their shoulders. The receptionists are the worst of the lot. They are uncouth, downright rude, abrupt and unfriendly. Don’t get me wrong, I have had the pleasure of meeting some very nice doctors, nurses and receptionists who went out of their way to make sure my visit was as comfortable as could be while wearing a butt-revealing gown.
So here I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room. He is very knowledgeable doctor but unfortunately that’s where it ends. The man has no bedside manners whatsoever and his receptionist is like a gestapo agent. While waiting, an older gentleman came in and asked her quietly about some reactions he was getting from his medications. Poor guy should have known better than to interrupt her while she was on the phone. She shushed him as though speaking to a child and told him to wait until she was done. When she was done, she gave him a flippant response more suited to a kid than a respectable senior and turned her back to him while he was still talking. I was aghast.
A while later, Miss Gestapo agent had to make some calls to refer some of her patients to specialists. Everyone could hear her as she related patients’ personal and sensitive medical history. Discretion? What discretion? On one conversation, I was able to tell that it was my mom she was speaking to.
Now I have the highest respect for people in the medical profession. They are sometimes underrated and maybe even underpaid while their job is stressful and thankless. Saying this, I still do not expect or appreciate being treated like I am trespassing when I visit my doctor. Even by a stressed out professional. I expect to be smiled at and greeted warmly. Fake it, I don’t care. I also expect my doctor to discuss my ailments and treatments with me and not forced his opinion on me. I expect to be treated as a man despite my less-than-manly condition. (I don’t have a less-than-manly condition. That was just a figure of speech). If you can’t give me such, you have failed at your job.
Just my take.