There's an old saying: "Doctor's make the worst patients." Typically, all people are the hardest to handle when you try to inform or instruct them in their own profession, but it's easy to understand why. What can start out as a simple doctor's appointment could feel like an an insult to their intelligence, like they don't know what they're doing? Just ask any of the physicians who shared what it's like when they go for a check-up.
Reddit user, u/Rampos7, wanted to know:
Keep It To YourselfGiphy
I avoid disclosing I'm a doctor unless specifically asked what I do for work. I think I'm better taken care of when the doc/team is most comfortable and working in their routine. Difficult and demanding patients who request special treatment often have worse outcomes. I don't want to be one of them.
Oh...You're Not Asking Me...
Went to student health as a med student.
Attending I worked with the week before does my Pap. With a resident (he asked. I said yes).
Kept quizzing me "what am I looking for? What does it mean if the pap is positive?", etc. I am getting questions right but he's being real weird about it.
Realize in parking lot after appt he was asking the resident not me.
Rotate with said resident a few months later.
Sometimes, It's Not Always Cancer
It truly depends on the way you act, most of the time I won't tell the doctor that I'm also a doctor unless specifically asked about it or if there is a slip of my tongue about symptoms or any other medical words.
Some doctors tend to be not to specific when they know you are a doctor because "you already know what's happening" sometimes even my wife gets the ask your husband to clarify your questions.
I try to have an open mind when I'm the patient because we are trained to think the worst, so there is a lot of cancer in my mind.
Currently I work in a palliative care unit, I have had medical patients and carers, and I would say that it is truly diverse how they react, we are also human and we are sick and vulnerable the doctor vein can go completely of or go on overdrive... turning it of is better and less intrusive most of the time.
"Stop Raising A Ruckus, Kenneth!
Whenever my dad, who IS a doctor, took me in for an appointment when I was a kid, it was always super awkward because if anything was done even remotely incorrectly he'd basically do the medical equivalent of the "let me speak to your manager" routine. Which, I kind of understand in that context, since it's your kid's health you're talking about and not a f-cking expired coupon, but still.
Made me want to melt through the floor.
You Might Forget How It's Supposed To Go
Male gynecologist here. When I have a patient come in for a pap it is always a bit annoying when they leave their [underwear] on under the gown. I have to step out of the room and wait for them to remove it.
When I went in for my first physical in years I stripped naked under the paper gown. Apparently guys don't do this, they leave their [underwear] on, who knew?
My family doc (who is also my best friend) had a good laugh at my expense over this breach in etiquette.
He also texted me the night before to let me know he was putting the KY in the fridge for my exam.
Sometimes, Just Let Them Be?
Not a doctor, but was a medical assistant in an Ob/Gyn practice for a while. We were near a very large medical center, so would regularly get physician patients. My favorite was this physician couple, who would come in for pregnancy check-ins and refuse to let me take the woman's blood pressure. The husband would bring HIS OWN stethoscope and BP cuff and they would sit down into this weird intimate BP taking ritual that took forever while I just kind of stood off to the side. I told the doc I was working with about it and she's like "it's okay, I know them....they're like that. I will take it again when I see her."
It Can Go One Of Two Ways
Speaking from both perspectives as a younger primary care physician:
As a patient: my appointments are 50% what I'm there for and usually very direct. Eg."I have a sinus infection. It is now thick yellow-green discharge with fevers and present >10 days. I think I may now need antibiotics." He will take a quick peek then just give me a script. Then 50% non related conversation regarding how my practice is going learning a thing or two about a new specialist practice or tips and tricks of the trade. My doc is a very chill, well versed and quite an experienced physician who always teaches me a thing or two.
As a physician: I also have multiple physicians as patients. My experience varies by specialty. Family physicians patients seem more chill and relaxed and usually drop by with a cup of coffee. Pediatricians who are patients are really fun to be around but some seem to have underlying anxiety and at times fairly demanding. Internists are just so intimidating as patients, especially when older and more experienced but always teach me a thing or two and force me to stay up to date on my guidelines.
I also find specialists medical knowledge are more versed in their specialty an opthalmologist, as expected, won't know much about gynecology and paps as their last pap they did was in med school.
Calling Your Own Shot
With my mom, it was like this
Mom: I think I have basal cell carcinoma on my back but I can't see it quite clearly.
Derm: You do have basal cell carcinoma, good job!
Just...Don't Think About Their HandsGiphy
Being an ER resident, I always wonder which one of my co-residents is working in the Emergency Department as I drive home from a shift, knowing if something were to happen, they would be checking my rectal tone in front of all my co-workers.
And then I think about how big their hands are...