Endocrine (thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, gonads, etc.) patients know one thing for certain: Getting good medical care can be a big-time challenge. It requires the patience of Job and persistence of a bill collector.
Knowing what’s going on “behind the scenes,” as it were, helps us determine whether or not to stay with a doctor and, if we stay, how to get the best results. So let’s talk about some difficulties in getting good medical care.
Why is it so hard?
First, let’s recognize that some doctors don’t care–either about you or about your problems. They read a book, and they’re going to go by that book. If what they read in the book doesn’t fix your so-called problem, then you’re a difficult patient who refuses to conform–to the book.
You’d think after even a few years of one non-conforming patient after another, they’d catch a clue that perhaps the book has it wrong–or at least left out some critical information–but no. They know what they know, and that’s that.
No imagination. No curiosity. Just an insistence on the rubber-stamp medicine of the book.
Fortunately, this description doesn’t represent the majority of doctors, although endocrinologists seem to be over-represented in this unhappy gathering.
As a patient, you have two choices: Stay, with the continuing misery that staying entails, or leave to seek another doctor. Thinking anything you say or do will change the doctor’s attitude is about the same as believing it’s possible to shape concrete after it’s already set.
And know this: When a doctor takes a condescending, my-way-or-the-highway approach, it’s not about you. It’s all about the doctor.
Endocrine problems turn you into a medical nomad–but, again, it’s not about you.
Avoiding disinterested doctors isn’t the whole story, of course. Next time, the constraints that keep doctors from being excellent.