This is why I want to become a Doctor.

From my blog:

Doctor dumb dumb.

Why do Doctor’s seem to get offended if I seem to know in any way what I’m talking about when I visit them? I have an impetigo infection underneath my chin. I have had impetigo on my face twice before. I have swollen lymph nodes underneath my chin and mid-line anterior neck and I have a red, raised rash which presents with a honey-colored crust. This is how the visit to the express care at my local E.D. went.

Doctor: “Hi, I’m Doctor Smith, what’s seems to be the problem today.”

Me: “I have impetigo.”

Doctor: (half irritated/half confused look overcomes his face) “Well let me see.” “You don’t have impetigo.”

Me: “I don’t?”

Doctor: “No, your glands are swollen, the infection is inside to so it can’t be impetigo.”

Me: “…”

Me: “Well I only seem so confident about it because I’ve had impetigo twice before and I have the honey-colored crust.”

Doctor: (Long pause) “Ok, maybe it is impetigo, I don’t know. Do you have any impacted teeth?”

Me: “No, but I haven’t been to a dentist in ten years.”

Doctor: “Ok, let me take a look.” Looking at my teeth with his penlight he proclaims, “They look good.” “Push down on the tissue underneath your toungue. Any pain?”

Me: “Nope.”

Doctor: “Ok, just making sure that it isn’t Ludwig’s angina. Here’s a 'scrip for penicillin.”

Me: “I’m allergic to penicillin.”

Doctor: “Here’s a 'scrip for erythromycin, 500, 4x a day.”

Me: “Ok, thanks.”

Doctor: “Ok see your Doctor in 1 to 2 days kid.” Doctor gets up and leaves the room.


This is one of the reasons I am going to become a Doctor.

If you choose to mention a story like this to AdComs, you’ll want to try to put it in a more positive light. Rather than “I know what’s wrong and the doctor doesn’t,” it may pay to focus on your unyielding desire to understand exactly what’s going on so you can best serve your patients.

Using a harried doc-in-a-box as an example of poor patient interaction is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.

But I have to tell you, as a primary care doctor (not a doc-in-a-box), that I do get exasperated when people present me with a diagnosis instead of what they are experiencing. In your situation, I would’ve probably said “why do you think it’s impetigo?” or “hmmmm have you had impetigo before?”

But please believe me when I say that there are people who come in having diagnosed themselves on the internet, and their actual diagnosis bears no relation whatsoever to the conclusion they reached. But because they’ve made up their minds, they tend to be very selective in what facts they present. Many minutes and multiple probing questions later, I’ll have unearthed a piece of the puzzle that they ignored or discounted because it didn’t fit their internet diagnosis.

So, yeah, I will readily confess to being annoyed when I hear “I have impetigo” rather than, “I have breakouts on my skin and swollen glands. The last time this happened to me I was treated for impetigo.” It has nothing to do with my ego – and an awful lot to do with the time pressure I feel all the time I’m working.

That said, I try to listen and be respectful of people’s experiences. Some days I probably succeed better than others. Just wait! You’ll see!


who should be completing charts right now…

Ok, I’d like to just forget that this post happened. I was blowing off steam, I was obnoxious, so… what post? huh? I don’t know about any post. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.