I continue to be annoyed with the way people working in doctors’ offices and hospitals treat patients. They seem to forget that the purpose of their work is to serve the sick and needy and help them to be cured. Instead, they treat us as inferiors who are a nuisance. And they often get things wrong causing inconvenience or worse for the patients.
More than once, I have stopped going to a doctor because his staff proved incompetent and rude. But my current primary care physician has a staff of one, his secretary, who goes out of her way to assist me in whatever I need. I’m grateful for her generosity and kindness. But she is an exception.
I believe that the attitude of medical staffs stems from the way doctors see patients. Typically, the doctor addresses me not as Dr. Glenn but as “Tom” and expects me to address him by his title and last name. It is a superior-inferior relationship. He forgets that his purpose in life is to serve his patients.
And doctors are by profession caregivers, not managers or leaders. They focus on treating patients, not managing their staffs. The end result is often that the nonmedical personnel are left to act as they see fit.
It’s well past time for physicians, like all the rest of us, to take responsibility. They must improve the way their patients are treated.