The feedback I got yesterday after my article based on Radiolab's Placebo show was intriguing enough for me to comment on it. So I am!
I wasn't surprised by the comments and emails about people's views of doctors. So many of you have been screwed over by doctors in the past and it definitely has an affect.
What those bad experiences have done to me is that they've made me so tentative about trusting a new doctor. I think back on all the negative things and go into an appointment expecting the worst. I have an appointment with a new doctor next week and I'm nervous as hell about it because until a doctor has earned my trust, Doc is being held at arms length.
The funny thing is that I don't think your average Joe feels this way. Maybe they do, but perhaps it's the people who don't have to see a doctor on a regular basis that are comforted by the "white coat". People who only have positive experiences with doctors have that luxury.
But also, I gotta say, that effect still holds with me every once in a while. When I had to go to the emergency room a few weeks ago, I was a little on edge . . . until I saw the doctor walking towards me (in that clean white coat) and I began to calm with every step she made.
I get that feeling when I see my new primary care doc, who is a very matter-of-fact, right to the point person. I had to see her a couple weeks ago, and I wasn't doing well until she walked in the room. Even with her barely 5 foot stature, she provided me with a feeling of comfort. She was going to help me through my troubles.
And of course, Doc Wiz, who I'm not sure how often he actually wore his white coat. With my wonderful Doc Wiz, the second I saw him I felt a weight off my shoulders. I knew he was going to take care of me. I had no doubt in my mind. Even when I got him on the phone, once I had contact with him I was immediately at rest.
The problem is that it doesn't necessarily matter how many good doctors you've seen, if you have terrible experiences in your past, that is going to stick with you no matter what.
Do you doctors understand this?
We're out here and we're frustrated with you!
Reading what you dear blog readers have said to me helps me realize that my resistance to seeing a new rheumatologist isn't just me being silly. It's the bad experiences that stay in our memories. That history keeps me from trusting a new doctor right away, and it's the same with you all as well!
I'm also realizing that I have to prepare for this appointment next week.
Anyone want to go for me?
Happy weekend, my loves!