It’s time to be a bad patient! In recent years, many health care consumers (possibly including you) have evolved beyond just doing what their doctor told them and have begun to ask questions. This involvement has created tremendous frustration in some authoritarian doctors that demand obedience from their patients.
Recently, a friend in medical school relayed a story of two patients—one was inquisitive while the other was unquestioningly compliant. After the appointment, the attending doctor turned to the observing intern (my friend) and complained about the ‘annoying’ patient. To my friend’s shock, the doctor deemed the second patient, the proactive question-asker, a bother, while the silent one was a ‘good’ patient.
This archaic way of thinking runs in direct conflict to current academic research, which suggests that patients partnering with their health care practitioners, that in turn integrate their care with each other, creates the best patient outcomes on many levels. If your practitioner is unwilling to discuss care recommendations with you, I suggest you leave them and find yourself a more collaborative practitioner.
You are the most important member of your health care team and deserve to be treated accordingly.
Written by Dr. Jeff Scholten