10 things doctors do that people have no patience for

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10 things doctors do that people have no patience for

FREE TO READ | Like a GP’s lateness that comes from knowing that, in your desperation to heal, you will wait anyway

Columnist

What is the one thing you expect from your doctor? The past few weeks I have been asking random people on the streets, in shops and hair salons, and via my social media pages, about that “one thing” in preparation for talks to dentists, doctors and other health professionals around the country. The responses were riveting.

#1 Treat me as a whole person. The need for holistic care came through strongly in the responses. “Engage with me as an individual, not as a body part,” said one respondent, and “I am a person before I am a patient,” said another. This need to be recognised as a full human being is clearly based on how people feel they are treated in the doctor’s surgery and was expressed with some emotion.

#2 Respect me by being on time. This is a common experience among patients. One respondent spoke for the many: “The one thing I almost never get. Starting the appointment on time.” Patients recognise, of course, that emergencies occur and that a doctor could be called away unexpectedly. This complaint, however, is about habitual lateness among doctors, a privilege many of them have afforded themselves out of a sense of self-importance and an understanding that in your desperation for healing, you will wait anyway...

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