I am one of those people who were raised to take care of themselves. Ever since I can remember, my folks would raise hell if I didn’t eat my fruit or if I didn’t put my winter hat on. Health is not something you can joke around with and both my parents made sure that I would not have to face doctors anytime soon. I was raised in a country where 1. most of the doctors who care about people emigrate and 2. it’s sometimes cheaper to buy a new house rather than give money to doctors.
Well, years have passed and I still try to stay as healthy as I can. When I catch a cold I feel like I should go to jail, that’s how hard my folks stressed the fact that health is important. Well, let me just say that I can’t thank them enough.
The first contact I’ve had with doctors was on TV. Sure, I went for routine checkups at the eye doctor or at the dentist… but I was never in the situation of desperately needing a good doctor to fix me. So, the only contact I had with doctors who diagnose people and cure them, was on TV. I fell in love with some of the TV series that present the lives of these MDs: Grey’s Anatomy, House M.D., Private Practice and others.
Meanwhile, while growing up, I started to watch the news and was welcomed into grown ups discussions that also involved the ‘gossiping’ of some doctors. I couldn’t believe the stories I was hearing and how different real doctors were from the ones on TV. It’s a real disappointment to find out the truth sometimes but I’m sure everyone knows it already: not all doctors behave like the ones in Grey’s Anatomy.
When I first moved 1000 miles from home, everyone told me how a “civilized country” has a good health system and that if anything should happen, citizens are in good hands. Hearing such kind words is always comforting but… there is a ‘but’. Lately, I have had more contacts with doctors than I could have imagined. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for months and I can definitely say that some of them doctors have chosen the wrong profession.
First of all, I should mention that I’m not ill. I only frequent the Hospital a lot because I carry patients in and out of there. Patient calls, we pick him up, transport him to the hospital. When the doctors are done, they call us again and we take the patient back home. Coming and going doesn’t happen in an instant and I’ve had the chance to meet some of these “specimens” I kept hearing about.
One of the doctors who managed to ruin my colleagues evening will surely be remembered for a long time. We ‘work’ in teams and we were ready to leave the hospital to take home a senior who had just gotten better. We were practically leaving when this doctor asked one of my colleagues how old he is. First of all, these questions are not very ethical, especially when you ask someone who is clearly retired. Of course, my colleague answered with pride and the doctor managed to put him down in under 3 minutes. Instead of saying “Bravo! You could have stayed at home and do nothing but instead, here you are doing charity work“, the doctor said something that went like this: “Why on Earth are you doing charity work? We cure our patients here, we can’t afford to have them come back because someone as old as you can’t handle them.”
I was speechless to say the least. I expected more compassion from a doctor, especially when they see with their own eyes how seniors who aren’t strong enough end up in the hospital, feeling useless.
You see, some doctors missed their course on ethics. Either that or they chose the wrong profession. I know there are many good doctors out there who chose this career out of passion but I rarely bumped into one and when I do, I make sure to let them know what a great job they are doing for the community, in the hope that they won’t “transform” into bitter doctors who treat people like objects.
Have you ever met a doctor so rude? What would you have said if they told YOU something like that?