Sunday, July 29, 2012
Whose Burden Is It Anyway?
We are human. And as human beings we cope the best we can. Some have more mature mechanisms, others not so much. So when I enter the office on a bad day, I may feel a little bit distant, maybe cold. Occasionally I might be downright mean. It's not personal. Fresh scars are often surrounded by fleshy, more sensitive tissue.
Over the years I have been cursed, threatened with malpractice, and left waiting for patients who have never shown. I have been mistreated in almost every imaginable way by my clients. Most of the time, I accept this type of behavior. When faced with fear, illness, or death, it is common to lash out at the bearer of bad news. Part of my job is to place my patient's behavior in context and react accordingly. Often the worst actors are the first to apologize when their situation improves.
I try to give each patient the benefit of the doubt. Yet it pains me to see how the public reacts to physician's poor behavior. We have been accused of being aloof, distant, and angry. I suspect that in reality most doctors are none of these things by nature. Like anyone faced with fear and destruction, we're in pain.
You see doctors and patients aren't that different in reality. We all hurt on the inside. Why do you suppose we suffer alone?
I wonder if we could share this burden.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 4:41 PM