Years ago, I worked for a physician who was ill one day. As I was calling patients to reschedule their appointments, a woman actually asked, “How can a doctor be sick?” It reminded me of my son, then a four-year-old, asking, “How can the bathtub be dirty?”
Granted, physicians go through many years of school to complete their degrees, internships and fellowships; all those fancy letters that come after their names! However, at the end of the day, they are human. They have bills to pay, family functions to attend and the same aches, pains and stressors as the rest of us.
So, what does this mean for you, the patient?
First and foremost, don’t be afraid. Your doctors expect and even want you to ask questions. That’s why they did all of that studying. If you are concerned you won’t know what questions to ask, make a list before your appointment and don’t leave the office until you are satisfied with the answers. It’s perfectly OK to ask a doctor to repeat what has been said. There’s nothing worse than getting home with a prescription and/or an appointment for surgery and having absolutely no idea what is wrong with you!
Yes, son, the bathtub gets dirty because we use it to get ourselves clean. That’s where the dirt ends up. Yes ma’am, doctors are exposed to every virus, infection and disease known to man. Sometimes they do get sick.