Why you should love your doctor

Why you should love your doctor

Doctors spend their 20s and 30s studying while most of their friends are at parties and enjoying their youth.

Doctors may amass up to $500,000 in debt for the honor of one day caring for you and your family.

Doctors delay childbearing and starting their own families so they can care for your family.

Doctors miss their own kids’ ballet recitals and baseball games so they can care for your kids and family.

Doctors get out of bed and leave their husbands and wives in the middle of the night to care for your sick husband or wife.

Doctors — while “off-duty” and “on vacation” — may save your life on an airplane, in a swimming pool, shopping mall, or car accident.

Doctor suffer with you. They carry your pain home with them.

Doctors may be hazed, bullied, and abused by professors, patients, employers, insurance companies, politicians, and the media, but the keep caring for you and your family.

Doctors are commonly sleep deprived and exhausted. They skip meals and bathroom breaks so they can keep caring for all the people like you and your family who need them.

Doctoring is not a 9 to 5 job. Your doctor may still be thinking about you and your illness while trying to fall asleep at night.

Doctors have PTSD from decades of witnessing trauma.

Doctors have the highest rate of suicide of any profession.

Today, tell your doctor, “I love you.”

The life you save may save you.

Pamela Wible pioneered the community-designed ideal medical clinic and blogs at Ideal Medical Care. She is the author of Pet Goats and Pap Smears. Watch her TEDx talk, How to Get Naked with Your Doctor

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Comments are moderated before they are published. Please read the comment policy.

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    Uh, no.

    You could tell me you love me, but then I would be worried that you have “boundary issues.” If you kept it up I might have to ask you to find another doctor.

    Here’s a better way to end the visit:

    Me: ” Ok, then I’ll see you in about 3 months or so.”
    You: “Ok, sounds good.”
    Me: “Take it easy.”
    You: “You too.”

    See how much better that was?

    • Suzi Q 38

      I agree.

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      I love you buzzkillerjsmith.

      Does that mean you won’t accept me as a patient?

      • penguin50

        We all love buzzkillerjsmith. But that’s irrelevant because the context is different. We are in the comment section of a blog, not all piled into his exam room.

        • Suzi Q 38

          I don’t love Buzzkillersmith.
          I like him, though.
          Yes, it is different for us, we are not his patients.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Since he is a realist I think he would appreciate “like” more than “love” anyway.

          • Suzi Q 38

            I agree.

          • buzzkillerjsmith

            It feels wonderful to be so understood. But I’m not ready to profess my love just yet.

            Wow. Did I really write that?

      • buzzkillerjsmith

        Love is a strong word, Pam.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Isn’t it great that we can share so much love with one another?

          • buzzkillerjsmith

            You’re just trying to provoke me. If I had had one more cup of coffee you would have been successful.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Right now, hate is going to be a far more important emotion than love in solving our problems. Directed at the right targets who need to be shamed. Like retired hospital CEOs at nonprofits making insane salaries. Take this article for example:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/nyregion/at-newyork-presbyterian-hospital-its-ex-ceo-finds-lucrative-work-.html?_r=1

            http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2014/07/for-hospital-ceos-retirement-may-mean.html

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Disagree. calling people out with love is a much better position that hate.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Not when you’re dealing with extreme narcissists and psychopaths. They only understand force.

            So explain how you are going to “love” Dr. Pardes into giving up that money or loving the board to stop this?

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Boycott with love.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Maybe your definition of love is broader than mine. When I think of boycotts I think of anger as the driving force. Definitely not love.

            To be honest, I think our collective problem is that we are dutiful betas, and the alphas know this. I think you want to go Gandhi. I think they see that as weakness. Gandhi will only work if the enemy has a conscience. For me, that’s unilateral disarmament.

            I say we go Alinsky. Name names, find out where they live, isolate and shame them.

        • James O’Brien, M.D.

          There’s the watery new age version of love and there’s the classic Greek version of love, that properly breaks it down into different categories because erotic love is obviously very different from love of humanity or love of God etc.

          LIke my music, I tend to prefer the classics that have stood the test of time.

          One principle of love that the Greeks understood was that the courageous or the victors in battle were more worthy of love. We tend to deny this in modern society, but we know it’s true. Mario Goetze is certainly getting a lot of love in Germany right now. And patsies don’t.

          I think doctors would get a lot more love if they fought the changes in medicine more courageously. The Washington Generals aren’t a team that inspires a lot of love.

          But at this point, I’ll settle for respect.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            “doctors would get a lot more love if they fought the changes i medicine more courageously.” Agree 100%. When we stand up for ourselves, we stand up for our patients. Instead of complaining about what is not working, let’s showcase what’s working: http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/7/9/here-s-why-9-outof10doctorswouldntrecommendmedicineasaprofession.html

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            The paradox of the submissive or dependent personality. Love gives you courage but it’s hard to get love until you are courageous.

            So enough talk about mid-level providers and being insulted by words.

            I’m not going to blow the trumpets for the siege of the MOC Jericho until I see that the tribe has lost its submissive mentality.

            I’m guess most will continue paying dues to organizations who despise private practice.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Not me! James, I’m boycotting the abuse.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Good, we all love fighters…

          • Patricia

            Every war needs leaders; it’s called leadership. Some people are called to it; some see the necessity and do what needs to be done; some are *elected* by their peers.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Why the war metaphor? Even peaceful revolutions need leaders.

          • Patricia

            True! I believe I was just following the metaphors James O’Brien was using(the post I was replying to).

          • buzzkillerjsmith

            Indeed there are many definitions.

      • Suzi Q 38

        The best Buzz can do at this point is that he maybe “likes” you, not sure…you would have to ask him.

        Many of my students from China say that they do not use this term (“I love you.”) so casually.

        They usually reserve this term for husband and wife, or significant other. One student went so far as to say that he would not personally tell his wife he loved her, but he would say so in a letter, LOL.

        People are different.
        Pam, I love how you are different.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Thanks! I must remember not to marry a Chinese man. I would drive him bonkers.

          • ninguem

            Yeah right. They don’t say I love you.

            There’s a billion-plus Chinese. They didn’t get there playing ping-pong.

    • James O’Brien, M.D.

      It’s hard to demand love when getting respect is a tall order.

      Eye on the ball here. Reform MOC, MediMal, EHR. Show us respect and basic human decency, I can get love at home.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Some doctors and patients are loving with one another, say “I love you” and that is therapeutic for them. Sometimes that’s all a patient needs.

    • rbthe4th2

      How about we just try to fix my problems, just like any other professional that I would hire? I appreciate all my supports but I don’t need to “love” them, I need them to do a job.

      I give respect, I tell bosses they’re doing a great job and I appreciate it. If the female half said they told a male professional they loved them … I would have to have a talk about that one …

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Do what feels authentic for you. . .

  • NewMexicoRam

    Your first line brought back lots of memories.
    Depressing ones, actually.

    My 20′s are a complete loss to me. It’s a good thing we waited to have any kids until halfway through my last year of residency. Otherwise, I’d have much larger depressing thoughts.

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      Yes. While my partner was performing in night clubs in his 20s with fans running to the stage for his autograph, I was studying in the medical library. And I have the poor posture to prove it. Now working to reverse that with my most excellent massage therapist who happens to be my patient. And yes, we love each other. We have seen each other naked. Having a professionally intimate relationship with clear boundaries may not be comfortable for others, but it works for us.

  • Suzi Q 38

    If I told my favorite doctor “I love you,”
    She might not like that, LOL.

    I just tell her that I appreciate what she does for me, and I admire her clinician skills.
    It seems that any negative thing about my health or medicine that I bring up, she has a viable solution for it.

    I kind of wanted her to buy some new shoes, as she is a young lady and her shoes added years to her youth, but I thought the better of it.
    Would I tell my male doctors that their saggy and rumpled pants made them look like old men?

    I think not.

    Sometimes professional boundaries are good.

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      If you feel it, say it. People tend to be stingy with love and reserve that emotion for Valentine’s Day with their spouse. There are so many ways we can show people that we love them. Love does not have to be just for one special person.

    • Mark Wheatley

      The “Force” is Star Wars, not Star Trek. Big difference, although I understand the point you are trying to make.

      • Suzi Q 38

        Thank you!
        I made the correction.

  • QQQ

    During the holidays I give ALL my doctors in my departments of medicine that I get treated a Hallmark card wishing everyone happy holidays! I never just give it to one person! I try to be fair and balance! Otherwise the coworkers think I’m having an affair with her! I understand the doctor-patient relationship. But I don’t want to overstep the boundaries of it

    Next I give them to all the RNs, PAs,NPs and so on!

    This is done to show my appreciation of what ALL they do not just for me, but to everyone else that needs care!

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      Beautiful. :) There are many ways to show you care.

      • QQQ

        Thank you! (^_^)v

  • Kristy Sokoloski

    Very moving. :) And it’s interesting this comes up again because I was thinking about you the other day. I frequently tell my doctors thank you, ask them from time to time how they are doing, how their family is doing. If they have been on their vacation ask them how the vacation went. My Primary Care Physician that I consider to be my friend (appropriately of course so I wouldn’t have it any other way) is one that I will give a hug to from time to time (with his permission of course) even though I want to do it all the time. However, like one of the others said I don’t want someone else getting the wrong idea. And sometimes I do feel like I want to outright tell him I love him but figure that’s not appropriate to say although I do love him (again in an appropriate way of course) because again I don’t want him or anyone else getting the wrong idea. That’s why when I feel like I must show my affection a hug from time to time is a good thing because I feel safe with him. Never felt that way about a Primary Care Physician in my life. And in return he’s figured out how to get in sync with me and also protective of me. So thank you again for writing about this subject because all of you are very much to be valued for the work that all of you do to help take care of us. And when I meet the families of my doctors (which does happen on occasion) I thank them for allowing me to share their loved one with them.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Good points. I think what James O’Brien MD added below is true in this case. When doctors have the courage to stand up and take their profession back from the no-value-added intermediaries, they will be easier to love, less likely to harm their patients, and more likely to be role models of health and happiness. Doctors who are victims do a poor job of caring for self—or others.

    I am sorry you were harmed by someone you trusted. We all do make mistakes. And we should be able to admit our errors and apologize without fear.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO of physician forced to leave her patients that she has cared for over 20 years. Yes, her patients hug her and say “I love you:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haXGD9r9gSY

    • buzzkillerjsmith

      I’ve done locums with the IHS, a different kettle of fish entirely.

      Where I worked, in WI and AK, There was a lot of co-dependence between docs and their pts, and, frankly, there were huge substance abuse issues because the docs, wanting to be seen as part of the family and being employees of the tribes, cave in. Also too many of the docs were there to try to meet their own emotional needs instead of their pts medical needs. And too many granolahead docs.

      Look at that woman blubbering. Is that how you want your doctor to act? Or your airline pilot? Or your battle officer?

      Maybe I’m a dinosaur but that kind of blubbering in a professional embarrasses me.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        She is obviously in pain losing the people whom she has cared for over 20 years. I would probably not be able to hold it together either. This is filmed at a retreat where physicians feel safe enough to share their trauma and suffering. Many doctors in the room were crying. Frankly, I think if more of us could stop clamming up and cry more easily, it would be therapeutic. We have a lot to cry about. Our profession is being destroyed. Why hide our pain?

      • Suzi Q 38

        Buzz,
        This is obviously a professional and personal growth retreat. Group therapy for doctors.
        In other words, it is O.K, for her to be upset.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Yes. Suzi Q 38 is correct. The retreat are 75% practice management and 25% personal growth/therapy. It did not start out that way, but when docs started showing up and crying about their traumas in a safe space, we kind of had to deal with that head on in order to help them design their ideal clinics. Healing the wounded healers. More on retreat here: http://www.petgoatsandpapsmears.com/teleclass.php

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            And docs are literally crying about cases from 30 years ago. And they have been holding all their grief in for decades!!

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            If it’s a “safe space”, why are we seeing it on the Internet?

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Because they signed consents and more doctors could benefit from hearing their colleagues speak candidly and truthfully about what is really going on behind the exam room door.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Fair enough. However, I see that as anger turned inwards. It’s not being channelled effectively.

            The American Bar Association does not mourn, they fight.

            Let’s start with “nonprofit” hospital executives. I’m going to name names (thanks to the NY Times):

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/nyregion/at-newyork-presbyterian-hospital-its-ex-ceo-finds-lucrative-work-.html?_r=0

            Although they should be more focused on the board than the doctor.

          • buzzkillerjsmith

            Precisely!

      • ninguem

        Rural politics buzz.

        It’s all tribal. Sometimes it’s a real Indian tribe.

        Sometimes it’s the Hatfields and McCoys..

    • ninguem

      I’m confused. Why, exactly, is she leaving this position she loves so much? Who hires and fires there?

      The tribal clinics in my area, the physician hiring and firing decisions are made by the tribe.

      Is she being fired by the very Indians she loves so much?

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Nope. New administration is offloading the old docs for a new crowd of production-line-trained young ones. This vid was an excerpt of the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPBsqoapWVc

        • ninguem

          “New administration”……means the tribe.

          The people that she loves so much, and she feels love her so much, have in fact shown what they actually think of her.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Yes, You are missing something here. How often is an organization run by a person who really represents majority interests? The new admin guy who is a doc is not representing the medical staff.

          • ninguem

            And….did that new admin guy just walk in the door and take over? Somebody hired that administrator, was it not the tribe? At the level of the administrators, the hiring of the administrators is done by tribal health committee, elders, however the tribe organizes itself.

            I have no way of knowing the whole story, was there no pushback from the tribe over this reorganization of the clinic?

          • ninguem

            I guess out in Northern Minnesota, the clinics may be run by some large entity, not familiar with the area.

            So, what was the plan, is she going to set up a tribal Ideal Medical Clinic?

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            I have trained another doc in that region to open a tribal ideal medical clinic and she sent her friend (the gal in video) to learn the business strategy. So looking forward to seeing the results. :)

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Totally agree.

    • Patricia

      Pamela, what do you think is the best way to talk to one’s doctor after he/she has been harmed by that doctor? Because I am totally struggling with this. (And by this I don’t mean a situation where the doctor is not invested and doesn’t care, such as docs who perform ‘exams’ for insurance companies in order to deny claims).

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Please clarify your question before I respond. I think I’m missing something here.

      • rbthe4th2

        Dont bother. They will have you blacklisted and other things. I’ve seen it firsthand. Then the risk managers cover up, the lawyers do, etc.

        • Patricia

          I agree; I have heard a lot of stories about blacklisting. There’s even that episode on Seinfeld where Elaine gets labeled as a problem patient and she figures out it’s in her chart and ends up going to a veterinarian for treatment, who then gets a call from a doctor telling him about Elaine.

          • rbthe4th2

            Oh yes I have seen that. Just recently actually, doctor got on the phone calling his buddies. The problem is that the doctor in question was trying to hide the fact he didn’t cooperate with other docs and didn’t know some complications or deal with them. You then have docs who are blacklisting people when the problem is the doc. With all due respect, I’d like to see that item be tackled by docs as to solving the problems. Its not always the patient at fault.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Yes. Doctors could do a much better job at self-care, self-policing, and personal growth. Too often there is nobody to blame but the person in the mirror. We need to heal ourselves if we are to be worthy of caring for others. Who’s with me?

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Not if more and more doctors and patients stand up for what is right. And that is exactly what is happening.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Patricia ~ This should reveal the real reason self-policing is not working among many doctors:
    (long, but worth every minute)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_57Jc8W5rY

    • EmilyAnon

      Thanks, Dr. Pam. What an enlightening video, especially for laypeople. I’ve never heard such candor from a doctor, and think it will make me a more thoughtful patient with my own doctors. What impressed me was that even though his frustrations were understandable, he didn’t come across as angry, mostly disappointed. But did come close to say he regretted his decision to be a doctor.

      Just curious, do you think he will leave the profession?

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        I think he will continue to practice medicine.

      • buzzkillerjsmith

        He won’t leave. The money is a narcotic.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          He said he would take a 66% cut in salary so that he could have more balance in his life. He is not money-driven. My take. Many of us in medicine (like me) not money driven.

          • buzzkillerjsmith

            Your trust and idealism warm my heart if not my brain.

    • buzzkillerjsmith

      OK, so I watched a good chunk of this and here are the comments.

      1. Pam, you have once shown us a doc here who is missing some psychological tools that are required to be at least somewhat happy as a doc. I’m onto you.

      2. This guy seems like a good doc, very thorough. But it is crushing his soul.

      3. He is too compulsive and it has destroyed his having fun. He states he gets to the office hours before his partners. He also states he can’t understand how other docs don’t do it the same. That says a lot.

      4. He has no evident sense of humor or enjoyment of full-on craziness. A common problem among docs, especially the over-serious younger docs,and a killer in medicine. Every day we absurdities, every day. If you can’t laugh or at least shake your head with a private rueful smile you are dead meat. I used to work with a good old doc who, when hearing about a pt with a long list of horrible diseases, would say, “Nothing serious though.” He lasted a long time in medicine. Without a sense of the absurd you might last a career but you will be miserable. The old saying is “the bluff good humor of the medical man.” See absurdities and tragedies and move on. You just have to move on to the next adventure (patient).

      As the risk of being a sexist (which I am), I will point out that seriousness is more common among women docs because they give more of a damn overall and care more about other human beings. Women also are more orderly in general and want things to be right. But things will never be right, ever. There, I said it . Good in life in general, not so good in medicine.

      5. He works too damn much. 50 to 60 hospitalized pts some days?! Come on. Set some limits. If you can’t do this in your practice, move on.

      6. His compulsive nature would rear its ugly head in accountancy big-time. What if the numbers are wrong? Better recheck and then check again. He’s looking for a a job and a life that does not exist.

      7.There’s no cure for him. People don’t change.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Wow. You got all this from one video.

    • Suzi Q 38

      Dr. Wible:
      I watched this video in its entirety and was fascinated.

      He is clearly focused and intent on doing a good job for his patients because we deserve it.
      We all deserve a doctor like this, but instead get someone on the opposite end of the spectrum.

      I think I will send this video to my former doctor (the one I fired) and let him know that while I did not expect him to pore over every piece of my EMR or medical history, I expected him to care.

      When I emailed his nurse and she forwarded my concerns listing my troubling symptoms and how they were escalating and becoming more acute, I expected a response. His lack of response twice (with my follow up emails) caused me to think I was O.K., and instead I worsened while I was out of the country in Europe.

      During my care, I left studies and other information that I thought was important. I was ignored for several months when I asked for a very appropriate specialist. When I finally got to a neurologist, he was a personal friend of his, and I got no where with him as well.

      At this point, the new specialists have told me that these two doctors waited way too long to aggressively treat me (a year and a half). I had way too many glaring symptoms that most clinicians should have treated a lot sooner than they did.

      I almost lost my walking ability by their non-action.
      Thank goodness I ran to a different teaching hospital in time.

      The physician here is right.
      Too many doctors want to be “right” instead of doing right by the patient.

      I like the analogy of the pilot who wants to be warned that he is about to make a grave mistake. he know that if he makes the wrong decision, not only will many people perish, but he will be included in that fate.

      The surgeon, for example and for whatever lame reason, did not want to be warned of an impending mistake. I can see why. his/her ego is at stake. Furthermore, the surgeon does not suffer the physical result or death after the surgery….
      the patient does.

      Herein lies the problem.
      We have good people who are doctors, and we also have the bad, who are so arrogant about their chosen career that they can not accept that they are wrong. The patient be damned. They can maim us and kill us patients with lack of knowledge, carelessness, or lack of interest.

      Of course, in my future medical dealings I will hire the good doctors, but how many others are out there that are jaded and really do not care? It is getting harder to find the good doctors. this is “scary.”

      I may use this video as a teaching tool for the CFO of the former teaching hospital..if I dare.
      I have some solid answers now with respect to who “dropped the ball.”

      In reality, though. They probably would not care.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        What a shame that he would prefer to leave medicine for accounting. Yes, many doctors suffer with OCD (me included). I consider the “disease” quite helpful in caring for patients. Give me a meticulous and thorough approach that I may not otherwise have.

    • Suzi Q 38

      Dr. Wible,
      I want to be able to site the article or study that this doctor talks about with regard to the comparison that he makes of the pilot and errors vs the surgeon and errors.
      Can you help find this info for me?
      A link would be preferable to either the study or the article.
      I thought what he said was profound and sadly true.

      Thank you!

      Suzi

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        I’ll e-mail him and ask.

        • Suzi Q 38

          Thank you!~

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    70% of office visits are by female patients. At least 50% of all graduates from medical school are female. I think at least some women prefer to approach their (especially female) patients with a kind of maternal nurturing. And love is often expressed by both parties. This may seem foreign to some who prefer “just the facts” and more professional distance. Personalized care is about recognizing the person who is in front of you and not being afraid to be authentic.

    A female podiatrist I know told me she avoided hugging her patients (though she wanted to) for her entire career. Until I told her it was okay. She is relieved and much happier. She had no idea that you could actually do that as a doctor.

    Let’s loosen the leash and be real. It’s okay. It’s safe.

    • James O’Brien, M.D.

      Having been stalked and followed home from work twice by unstable patients I can testify that it’s not safe and it’s also naive because unrequited love can lead to hate. This is especially dangerous advice to give female physicians.

      Love is shown through doing a good job and should remain decidedly platonic. Physical contact is often a recipe for misunderstandings, boundary violations and lawsuits.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        How did health care become such a fear-driven profession? Very oppressive to the human spirit on both sides of the exam table.

        • James O’Brien, M.D.

          I’d ask malpractice attorneys and judges who issue restraining orders. Or anyone who has been stalked. Or Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s psychologist who lost his license.

          Love has another side when it is unrequited. Called hate. Wait til you get followed home by someone unstable and have to start filing restraining orders. And this doesn’t even consider the malpractice risk in today’s climate. Be careful out there, to quote NYPD Blue.

          Boundaries are not a bad thing and the lack of them is an invitation to a toxic relationship.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            Why are you mentioning seduction? That seems off base.

          • James O’Brien, M.D.

            Because it can be interpreted that way even if not meant that way.

            http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/01/08/12388771-sun.html

            You haven’t run this by a medi-mal attorney have you?

            I didn’t make the rules, don’t kill the messenger.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            How many people do you think were healed by Mother Teresa’s love? Love is a healing force that is stronger than almost anything in the universe in my opinion.

            Why are men and women separated at orthodox Jewish synagogues? And women shave their heads and cover themselves in layers of garments so as not to expose any flesh? I have been told it is so the women do not accidentally excite the men. WARNING: Next sentence may sound harsh –> If you can not tolerate someone telling you “I love you” as a way to show their appreciation without taking it the wrong (sexual) way, maybe you need to sit on the other side of the synagogue.

            FYI: I’m Jewish.

    • Kirsti Nore

      What do you, Pamela, mean by treating female patients with a kind of maternal nurturing.

      What exactly does that mean?

      As a feminist, I don’t think I would like that.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        I have noticed in medical practice that women tend to value a more relationship-driven practice. Men tend to like quicker data-driven visits with less chit chat. So I engage in deep relationships with patients who seem to need that. Since folks on KevinMD seem to be confused about how I can love my patients, I use the maternal image because everyone can understand that type of love.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          I may have to post videos of a few office visits as it is hard to explain the kind of relationship I have with patients. I think it is easier to see and experience than explain.

    • Karen Ronk

      I think you have to be careful with the gender assumptions. I have actually experienced a more “nurturing” approach from some male doctors than I have from female. And I strongly support nurturing- guess I am not a “feminist”.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        These conversations and extremely difficult to have online. How I wish we could all meet up at a beautiful coffee shop on the Oregon coast and have a real live conversation. . . .

      • Sarah

        I agree (except for the feminist comment). I have had nuturing relationships with both female and male docs…..along with cold relationships from both genders too. Depends on the person…..not necessarily their gender

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    If you’re happy with me, send me a thank you card. Or just fill out one of the countless “patient satisfaction surveys.” Don’t tell me you love me. Ick.

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      What if a patient writes in a thank you card: “I love you for saving my daughter’s life.” Is that still “ick?”

      • Suzi Q 38

        That was nice of your patient, Dr. Wible.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Just a made-up example. Not an actual card I ever received Suzi Q 38.

    • rbthe4th2

      That’s me! The other half also. I don’t fill out “patient surveys”. I ask for the bosses/admin and what do I need to submit for them to know they have excellent employees?

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Sometimes we need to write down more than what the scaling questions can possibly encompass. Rating your doc as a 5 out of 5 might require a deeper explanation.

    • Patricia

      Why not understand that people are different and show their feelings in different ways? Some people are more expressive than others. I get that doctors are different sorts of people too, but ya gotta accept different types when you work with the public. In my opinion. Also what about docs telling their patients thank you?

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Whatever works. Main point: Be real. Be authentic. People are not looking for robodocs.

        • Sarah

          I think that patients aren’t looking for robodocs but it seems to me that some docs prefer to be robodocs. Then it’s up to the patient and whether that’s the kind of doc they want……if not…..look for another doc. I know that I am going to be very selective in deciding upon a new oncologist……particularly given the recent experience I described above.

          • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

            And I fully support your decision. What an unpleasant experience. Sorry bout that.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Have you check out a doc on the ideal medical clinic map on my website? http://www.idealmedicalcare.org

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Transparency, authenticity. Allowing our young doctors to be healers and not harmed by an abusive training and health care system would help. I suppose you saw my other videos of the female physician crying as she is forced to leave her patients and here’s one I just uploaded about the unthinkable abuse these young docs-to-be suffer. If we want to receive care as patents, we need to care about how we treat and train our doctors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cemkSKTfFW8

    • Patricia

      What can non-medical professionals do to change this? Obviously it has to come from within the field. But…?

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        Knowledge is power. Kind of like bullying on the playgrounds. Kids have to learn that it is wrong. Teachers have to stand up for the kids. Parents have to intervene and speak with the principal. But above all, we need to claim that this IS a problem and it is 100% UNACCEPTABLE way to treat anyone—human or animal.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Yep. I will go with the sensitive compulsive seer ID guy over the old bluff doc too. To each their own.

  • Sara Stein MD

    Nice Pam, pretty accurate. (To the call out crowd – really? All you take from this is the words love you? I would have said tell your doctor thank you). I think the message is that medicine is a calling, with extraordinary sacrifice required. As always, there will be 50 shades of dedication, ranging from minimal requirement to saint-like devotion. Most of us fall somewhere in between depending what day it is.

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      Thanks Sara! I think the emotionally charged words “I love you” must bring up family of origin traumas for some. Really folks, it is okay for patients to say this, They are not trying to stalk you. This is how people express their gratitude for saving their lives! :)

      • Sarah

        I don’t know Dr. Wible. I think it depends on the doc. I tell my friends and family that “I love” my doc all the time and I have sent thank you cards to her telling her how grateful I am for her care, what an exceptional doc she is, etc. But she is a very reserved, private, person……does not share anything about her personal life or ask me anyting about mine. Just provides exceptional care. Therefore, I think “I love you” would make her feel very unconfortable.

        • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

          Probably correct.

    • Sarah

      I agree completely with your “50 shades of dedication” comment.

      I recently went to see a “potentially” new oncologist since my current oncologist is leaving. Oh my God, it was like going from heaven to hell! This woman had no bedside manner whatsoever, told me that she does not do half of the surveillance measures that my other doc did as “there is no evidence to support their use in identifying recurrences” which was like a punch in the stomach to me……as these were measurements that gave me confidence in my remission status.
      I knew that she was incorrect as I had reviewed the National Comprehensive Cancer Guidelines for cancer surveillence for my specific cancer (endometrial) when I started with my previous doc and they were totally within the guidelines…..and still are. She then went on to perform the most incredibly painful pelvic exam that I ever experienced in my life! I kept telling her this is really hurting (never felt a thing with my previous doc)……she just ignored me until I actually yelled out in pain and to stop! Needless to say, I will not be using her as my new oncologist.

      • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

        I’m sorry. Obviously good to try people out first.

      • Sara Stein MD

        Oy, that’s awful, keep looking

  • rbthe4th2

    I’ve seen this firsthand. The reason why there is so much backlash is with the explosion of knowledge, we know more and can see more of the mistakes. The fact that medicine isn’t really doing anything meaningful to fix them is the problem.

  • Patricia

    Yes, I think you got my meaning. So a letter can be okay. He is my regular doc so I keep seeing him and hold this other thing in a compartment which sucks. He is actually one of those sensitive doctors who always makes sure he touches your shoulder or knee and looks you in the eye. That’s what it’s so hard. But I live every day with the issue that his procedure caused and the first time I complained, he brushed it off.
    Thanks Pamela, I think this whole conversation (with everyone participating) is helpful in clarifying your mission!

    • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

      Just always come from a place of compassion. Not emotionally charged. You may need therapy to heal your wounds well enough so that you can discuss this with your physician. This is A LOT to ask of a patient, but in the end you are healing yourself, your doctor, and preventing other patients from the same fate. Thank you in advance for being so brave and being the bigger person here. It is not your job to heal your doctor, but I believe we are all doctors when we take on the job of healing others.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    Oh no!

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    The solutions are so simple really. No amount of legislation can force a doctor to care for a patient. In fact, there may be an inverse relationship between amount of health care legislation and amount of care delivered to patients.

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    How to dx? My clinical acumen would gobsmack you. Maybe not my modesty.

  • http://www.idealmedicalcare.org PamelaWibleMD

    TED talk on medical intimacy and love between doctor and patient (now with > 100,000 views): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cvHgGM-cRI

  • http://www.CommunicatingWithPatients.com/ Edward Leigh, MA

    Hi Pamela: I LOVE your posts! Rock on, Eddie

Most Popular