doctors are people, too!

I went to the pharmacy today, hoping to ask a question about the yellow dart (a.k.a. methotrexate) (whether I can use a vial of preservative-free MTX multiple times — unfortunately, I’ve gotten conflicting information on this, which is super awesome). But apparently, the pharmacist decided she’d rather talk to the people paying for a Snickers bar about starting up a swimming program for 10 minutes. (I wish I was kidding.) You’d think with how many doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other medical professionals I see and have seen, I would have known what to do. Instead, I decided to leave and phone a (different) pharmacist later.

Still, there are ways to deal with the incredible number of medical personnel we encounter with ever-increasing frequency, it seems. I think the most important thing to remember is that they are human. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, the woman who runs the front desk at the doctor’s office: All of them are people, too. They all have bad days and good days. “Please” and “thank you” work wonders. It seems really simple, but I think remembering that is really helpful. Being polite never hurts, and I think we’ve all seen how well yelling and screaming at people works at getting them to be willing to go the extra mile for you. (Read: Not very well.)

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to remember that, even though I live this every day, the doctors and nurses and all the others are doing their jobs. I think it’s good to remember that it’s up to me to help them to understand how bad I’m feeling or what symptoms or side effects are bothering me at the time.

So, really, my big secret for getting what I want from my doctor — or having a relationship where I can lay that out — is no secret at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure we all learned it in kindergarten: Treat people as you want to be treated.

(Photo via We Heart It.)

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3 thoughts on “doctors are people, too!

  1. I totally agree. I’ve always had great relationships with my doctors, and I really believe the responsibility for that is on me as much as it is on them.

    (By the way. I’m wondering the same thing about my methotrexate. I use exactly half the vial each week. My pharmacist told me to throw the unused portion away each time, but my rheumatologist warned me that the pharmacist would say that, and told me not to listen to him! I think I’m going to cross my fingers and try reusing the vial this week.)

    • Hey Helen!

      As far as I can tell, the preservative-free MTX shouldn’t be reused. Mine actually says “single-use vial” right on it. Apparently, there’s a version with the preservative in it that can be used multiple times.

  2. I find it easy to treat doctors themselves well (except for that internist I “fired”), even the nurses. It’s the office staff of certain doctors (even those I adore), or certain pharmacies (oh, I’ll switch) that get me. I try to stay nice, but sigh, it’s hard sometimes.

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