Confession: I’m A Terrible Patient!

Originally published June 8, 2018

You would think as someone who goes to school in the hospital or health centre I would be better at seeking medical attention. From experience that’s just not so.

I don’t know what it is that makes us so stubborn when it comes to going to the doctor especially when we have so many around us. We know first hand the importance of treating illnesses early instead of waiting.

Yet we avoid the doctor at all cost.

And will instead self treat with over the counter drugs and even home remedies.

A lot of times we realise we’re not so different from our patients. The same patients we encourage to go to the doctor early, to take their medication and who we sometimes reprimand for coming in too late.

The truth is, we ought to know better, right?

Recently I have been having a few medical problems, which got worse out of sheer stubbornness. I eventually had to go to the hospital for one of these problems. What this experience showed me is that even though I’m practicing to be a medical doctor- I hate going to the doctor, I hate going to the hospital and I hate having to take medication. And most of all I hate butt injections!

Every time we behave like the very patients we reprimand, it is important to look at the situation and ask ourselves, why? Why didn’t we seek help earlier? Why didn’t we want to get help?

When we do this we will realise that we can answer these questions and ultimately we can now use them to improve how we practice medicine.

At the end of the day, we are all human. Spending the time to try and understand the psychosocial aspect of ourselves and our patient helps us to care for ourselves better and offer better care.

Admitting to ourselves the challenges with seeking medical care can help us encourage and motivate our patients to take the initiative and put their health at the forefront.

Heck! Maybe it’ll motivate us too!

Samantha C. Johnson

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