Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Ten Ways to Annoy Your Doctor

Top 10 lists are back!

I forgot about this kind of post, and a reminder by a reader is bringing them back.  They are really a fun and easy kind of post to write, so you may see a fair number of them (read: Rob is getting lazy).  I thought I’d start back with some suggestions for disgruntled patients (or gruntled ones, for that matter) to make their doctor’s day much worse.

1.  Require the doctor to keep things secret from your child or your elderly parent. Insist that they can’t know about their cancer, depression, ADD, or foot fungus.  Call the medication the doctor prescribes “vitamins.”  Alternatively, you can threaten your child by saying that if they don’t behave better, the doctor will give them a shot.

2.  Disguise the real reason for your visit with something simple. For example, if you have depression or chest pain, set up an appointment for a sore throat.  Make sure you leave all of the office staff in the dark as long as possible.  It’s a bonus if you end the office visit asking them to check your hemorrhoids or help with a certain discharge you have been having.

3.  Call your children nicknames that have nothing to do with their real names. Let’s say you have a son named “James Wadkins Smith”; you should call them “Trent” or “Flippy.”  A daughter named “Anna Rose Jones” can go by “Jenny” or “Eva Marie.”  You get extra points if you change what you call them every few months.

4.  Smoke a pack of cigarettes or several cigars just before going to the doctor’s office. Then when you are asked if you smoke, say you don’t.

5.  Ask for doctor’s notes for anything. If your car doesn’t start and you miss work, call to get a doctor’s note.  If you don’t like fluorescent lighting and want incandescent lights at work/school, ask your doctor to write a letter stating that this is a medical necessity.  Asking for a few days off of work because of “stress” is sure to have the desired effect.

6.  If you are an employer or school district, make your employees or students get documentation for every single sick day. Make the docs fill out FMLA paperwork for sinus infections, and disability forms if it lasts more than 2 days.  School districts should require a detailed asthma management plan on all patients with asthma.

7.  Call frequently stating that you have a personal issue you need to discuss with the doctor, refusing to talk to anyone else. It’s best to call the office acting like you know the doctor well, referring to them by their first name.  When you do get the doctor on the phone, start talking about your anxiety, depression, or bowel problems.

8. Send your teenage son or elderly parent with dementia to the office alone. Make sure you don’t leave any contact numbers and don’t tell the boy what you are sending him to the doctor for.

9. Invite friends and family. Having as many people in the examination room as possible is the goal.  Having young children with ADHD is the ideal.  Think clowns in a Volkswagen.

10. Bring your spouse or child to the office so the doctor will convince them that you are right. Open hostile arguments are important for the doctor to see just how wrong they are.  Make it clear to your family member that the doctor is against them.

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »