Who’s Looking Out For Us? The Doctor-Patient Paradox

Who’s Looking Out For Us? The Doctor-Patient Paradox

– I’m a patient. I show up to the clinic. I’m greeted with a front desk person who has a terrible attitude. I’m in pain, and I walk, you know, I sit down and I wait and it’s an hour before I even see the doctor.

– I’m a doctor. I trained all of my 20s, gave up so much so that I could help people and every day it’s a struggle just to not go crazy.

– When I finally see the doctor, I just seem like a number. Like, I took a number at the deli counter, and he just wants to push me through as fast as possible.

– Increasingly, they’re treating what I thought was a calling as a business, and that means I have to see more and more and more people with less and less and less resources, while keeping them happy, while worrying about what they’re gonna say on Yelp or on Health Grades, and it’s so much stress that I can hardly think about listening to the patient’s story, which is why I went into this in the first place.

– I’m literally telling this man what my problems are, how I’m hurting, and he’s not looking me in the eyes. He just keeps staring at the computer screen, which makes me feel like I don’t matter.

– If I don’t treat this computer screen, the electronic health record, I don’t get paid. Or worse, some bureaucrat who has never laid a hand on a patient yells at me and makes me feel like shit.

– After the interaction, I had such a bad experience that I’m still reeling from it. And I find myself as a patient with no recourse.

– Every day I’m terrified that I’m gonna make a mistake or miss something that’s gonna hurt this person here, and get me sued and ruin my career.

– When I leave the office, I’m presented sometimes months later with a bill for services that were never agreed upon ahead of time. Sometimes this can be for thousands of dollars. It makes me feel like I got got by the current system.

– I have loans that are crippling. I gave up all my 20s, where I could have been making money like you did, to try to do this thing that I care about. There’s so many easier things I could have done, if I wanted money. But I did this. And this is how they make us feel and then we feel bad when we actually want to get paid to do the right thing for patients. How come nobody is helping me out?

– How come nobody is helping me out?

– [Both] How come nobody is looking out for me?

Henry Mitchell

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