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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Teach Your Doctor How to Listen! And to Use Time Wisely.

26 Kislev 5768

You know that ice cold sinking feeling you get when a doctor is treating you like a nuisance on a conveyor belt? Or worse, insulting you? You want to scream, "I Need You to Pay Attention to Me and to Treat me with R-E-S-P-E-C-T!"

And then you feel awful for your raging emotions. Sigh. Welcome to the real world of medicine, sickness, and the search for relief.

Many doctors are wonders of courageous, kind-hearted humanity. Others need to figure out how to truly listen to their patients. We need for them to understand that they owe us their full attention when we consult them or let them treat us. We are not medical geniuses or therapists. We are balls of terror, nerves on edge, and struggling to appear calm when we feel desperate.

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article defining proper procedures for doctors. Not medical procedures, either. This is about social skills, listening attentively and respectfully to patients in the office, at the hospital, and on the phone. Take notes on the article or print it out, in order to share the lessons with your medical team:
Like doctors, seniors don't have time to waste - Los Angeles Times

Before I close this section of today's post, I want to share one more relevant thought: Dear Doctors: Your patients do not care to shiver in the cold air nor do they want to expose their privates to the whole world passing by the exam room door. Those merciless cloth or paper gowns and towelettes must go! Tolerate the button-free, extra-long T-shirts that we women prefer to wear while you're examining us. And let the men wear their underthings. Honest, we didn't go to a doctor's office or other medical site to catch cold, to feel humiliated beyond endurance, or to wonder if we're the worst-looking person you've seen all day. Yes, you comfortably dressed in the suit, tie and shoes covered by a white lab coat. sigh...

All you need to do is to GOOGLE the phrases "Modest medical gowns" or "modest hospital gowns" and bunches of wonderful resources come up. Readers, share the news with your medical professionals. Doctors, please stock those far more preferable clothing alternatives in your offices.

I hope that the above information warms your hearts and helps you on your healing/coping journey. Or helps you in your professional endeavors, Doctor ;^ )

UPDATE: Here's a brilliant bit of news about using a Check-List to better manage medical care. The article's a bit long, but golly is it worth reading: The Checklist by Atul Gawande - If something so simple can transform intensive care, what else can it do?


CHANUKA’S STILL HAPPENING !!!!! Spread more cheer when you buy someone a copy of It's MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To at

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To your good health,

Yocheved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life.


Anonymous said...

About the need for better coverage with patient gowns: Whoa--your rant was great!

Star Lawrence

Yocheved Golani said...

Thank you for the compliment, Star. BTW, the EMPOWER Yourself book lists a resource for buying full-coverage patient gowns that doctors find non-problematic.