It's Never the Doctor's (Psychiatrist's) Fault?
It's not my fault. We say it. We think it. We spread it around. It's supposed to assuage our guilt and make others believe we didn't do anything wrong, when maybe we did.
But occasionally, someone has a backbone. Not a politician, not a famous person, not a person in a position of power, but your average person that you interact with, they are capable of admitting they did something less-than-perfectly.
But never, ever is it a doctor's fault. It doesn't matter what they do, or what they say, it's never their fault. They never make a mistake. They never have a bad day. They never make an error in judgement. They never write the wrong name of a drug down on a script. Never, is it ever, their fault.
Doctors and Litigation
OK, I know, doctors can never admit they did something wrong because if they do, they will get sued. No offense neighbors to the south, but that's kind of your thing. If I were a doctor, I'd be scared and have a lawyer on speed dial too.
Nevertheless, most people don't have a great desire to sue someone. (And in Canada, it's much harder and the awards are not nearly as insane.) So while I appreciate a doctor's concern, I really don't think this gets them off the hook. I just don't. Not in reality and not ethically either.
"Billy, did you take a cookie from the cookie jar?"
"No," says Billy with big, innocent eyes, and chocolate all over his face.
We all do this when we're a kid. And then we're all taught not to lie. We're taught to fess up to our wrongs. We're taught the lies and the cover-ups are worse than whatever we did (ask Martha Stewart).
But somehow doctors are not held to this same standard. We don't expect them to act like a mature eight-year-old.
It's Not Me, It's You
Then there is the phenomenon of "blame the patient," where not getting better is our fault. We're obviously doing something wrong because the Doctor's treatment is perfect. We're obviously not taking our meds on schedule. We're obviously out drinking every other night. We're obviously lying. We're obviously doing something to mess up what the doctor knows is the "right thing."
"I'm Sorry, I Made a Mistake"
But here's the thing, would we all feel so compelled to run to the lawyer if doctors were just capable of apologizing?
You know what I say when I talk to people going through hard times?
"I'm sorry you're going through that right now. It sounds very hard."
You know why I say that? Because I am sorry. Because it is really hard. And because it makes people feel better to know that someone is listening to them.
And aren't doctors supposed to be listening to patients and making them feel better? Isn't that their job? It isn't mine, you know. I do it because it's the right thing to do. Because I'm empathetic. Because I'm a human being.
A Challenge to Doctors
So I challenge doctors out there to do something new - take responsibility for your actions. Act like you care about what your patients are going through. Stop taking notes for three seconds and listen with understanding.
And for damn sake admit when you've made it mistake. Because it's not a secret. We already know you did. And you completely lose our respect when you deny it like a child.
Tracy, N. (2011, August 25). It's Never the Doctor's (Psychiatrist's) Fault?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/08/its-never-the-doctors-psychiatrists-fault
Author: Natasha Tracy
I HAVE had ONE doctor who sort of apologized to me. When I was pregnant with our only child, I would ask him at every visit, 'Are you sure everything is ok?' No doubt he thought I was neurotic. I had a dream that we would have a child with handicaps (never told him about that...he would have had me committed, lol).
All testing was ok, no indication anything was 'wrong'. Completely healthy pregnancy.
I ended up carrying her full term, but needing an emergency c-section. She damned near died...Apgars were 2, then 3. Intense fetal distress.
Our baby was born with Down syndrome. When the ob came in to remove the staples from the incision, he said, 'You KNEW, you really did.'
That's as close to an apology as I've ever gotten.
Great question, I decided to write a post about it: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/09/disagree-with-your-doctor-respectfully-explain-why/
Anything for a fan ;)
(I lived in the US for a bit but now I'm back in Canada.)
That's a pretty common problem. It's not really an evil motive, they're just concerned about making you worse by taking you off a medication. There is some logic to this in that if you're doing really badly, you may not handle the withdrawal well.
That being said, my doctor is with you - too many doctors add too many meds and don't take any away.
(I just got rid of one last week. I can't say it helped anything, but I suppose it's the principle of the thing.)
It's great you're feeling better. Too much medication is nasty.