Thursday, February 11, 2016

"A good way for doctors to let patients know they are antiquated and unfriendly"

A friend here in Melbourne visiting a doctor in the community took this picture from the bulletin board in the doctor's waiting room.  I posted it on Facebook with the comment:

"I know some doctors feel frustrated about this issue, but even if they do, is the waiting room a really good place to put up a sign like this?"

Within hours, I received a slew of comments, and I repeat a few of them here.

Condescending, much?

Gotta fight snark with snark! My search engine spends more than 2 minutes with me, doesn't disregard my input, and is available for follow it'd be hard to confuse with a real doc. 

It is offensive to put that in a waiting room. Period. I would turn right around and walk out.

I'd turn around and walk right out too, if I could. Great example of an ego-based practice!

Yikes, not at all appropriate for posting in a waiting room. 

Don't confuse your medical degree with human empathy.

We have had some great doctors lately so have respected my need to research - but I respect their degree and experience. There is a fine line between research for understanding and research used for self diagnosis. It also is hard because anyone can publish anything on the net so weeding thru it to find truth is challenging. I thought the sign was funny but could see how many would be offended.    

The number of doctors I have witnessed Googling (and Wikipedia reading) while I've been in waiting rooms...

Doctors are too sensitive.

I totally understand doctors' frustration at Doctor Google. And equally think doctors need to get a grip and recognize this is the 21st century! Hello? Savvy consumers ARE GOING TO GOOGLE. Medicos need to develop ways of dealing with the information, and likely also the misinformation, that patients and carers may find.  

They are ignorant of empowered, educated patients, sophisticated websites and instant crowdsourcing within correct parameters. It's a mark of an older generation of doctors, perhaps used to dealing w LILE (low income, low education) patients.

Knowledge is Knowlege.

With one in ten misdiagnoses, and that estimate is very low because diagnostic error isn't tracked or reported except by malpractice claims, you bet I'm doing my own research. How am I supposed to engage in shared decision making if I don't educate myself? I go to medical school websites, medical academy and society websites, disease organizations and more for my info. Google gets me there.

Physicians need to take a look at why patients feel the need to google their symptoms and diagnosis. Then they could have a constructive conversations of how to change the patient experience. This poster is just highly offensive and just supports the old notions of dr.s being narcissistic jerks.

Worst kind of paternalism.

Wow. Not an appropriate sign for a waiting area. Why not work with the patient and thank them for being so proactive. Your knowledge can outweigh any Google search. The patient is only scared.

Patients should be involved with their care and ask questions. We do it for many other products that we consume in our life. Health care should be no different.

I would never confuse the two. Google is much better.

I actually went undiagnosed for years with a rare kidney disorder. I mentioned to my doctor on several occasions what I thought was going on and got the "don't self diagnose on the Internet" lecture. I agree, it can be frustrating to doctors who spent years in medical school to have patients act like they know more. However, nobody knows their body better than the one living in it and when a patient says "this is not right" they should keep a open mind. I did get a profuse apology from my doctor and she said that she learned to leave her ego at the door and to listen to her patients.

I like it! It's a good way for doctors to let patients know they are antiquated and unfriendly. I'd rather know that in the waiting room than find out in the exam room.  

If this is how they are choosing to respond to the digital era then its time to find another doctor. Giving such a clear sign is a societal and individual benefit. 

And then this dialogue:

[Kathy] Epitome of arrogance! You'd better believe I will be googling my diagnosis and symptoms. I only go to the doctors office if I need "physician ordered" medicines, diagnostics or treatments.

[reply from Eric] After you spend endless hours debunking the mindless nonsense people read on line you may look at this differently. A little knowledge is very dangerous.

[reply from Kathy] But, that knowledge may be what the doctor does not know! Patients engaging in their own care and learning about their bodies and illness makes them safer, not dangerous (to anyone).  

[reply from Eric] Spend a day in my shoes where people clamor for inappropriate tests and drugs. I believe we should all be proactive but what I see on an almost daily basis is nuts.

[reply from Kathy] Some of those people are right on with what they need. I am a nurse and I have worked in doctors offices. I have also been a patient who knew my diagnosis and what I needed. I didn't get it and as a result I got kidney damage. There are two sides to every story.

[reply from another person] Patient empowerment can come from many places and should. I can understand frustrations with time and teaching and getting more time with patients (nurses and doctors) a solution to many problems. This sign is extremely arrogant and provocative. A power struggle for status and status is something WE can use wisely or unwisely and this is of the latter.

[and from another] I am a trained scientist with a PhD and I do a lot of research before and after I go see my doctor and also for my friends and family. I actually pick my doctors after asking them their opinion of patients like me who want to make informed decisions, and I WILL most definitely find a different doctor if they give me such attitude. I respect that it can take extra time to deal with the cases where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but if the doctor wants me to stay ignorant and treat their individual opinion as infallible, I am outta there. Just my 2 cents on this issue.


Anonymous said...

All I see Is a gigantic lack of trust on both sides.

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