E-Mail 'Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctors' To A Friend

Email a copy of 'Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctors' to a friend

* Required Field






Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.



Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.


E-Mail Image Verification

Loading ... Loading ...

17 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctors

  • July 8, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Permalink

    Great thoughts. I am blessed to have a WONDERFUL rheumtologist and some patients who have moved across the country literally fly back a few times a year to see her. I have often wondered what it is that calls doctors into this specialty however.

    [1] It’s all about treating the patient, not curing the patient of looking for a cure.

    [2] When a patient is helped by a medication, it’s usually just a matter of time before that medication no longer works as well, or new ones come out the patient wants to try;

    [3] when the patient is helped, the rheumatologist doesn’t hardly get to be involved. It’s often through surgery (by a surgeon), an OT or other therapist.

    My rheumatologist gives me gentle hugs before leaving the exam room. She wants to know what is going on in my life and how she can help make LIFE better. And she really does hate to see me suffer. It must be hard to be a doctor who really does care and know your job is to just watch people deteriorate while trying to offer whatever medicines are available at the time.

    • July 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm
      Permalink

      Good points, Lisa. Glad you have such a great rheum doc. When I hear about those kind of rheum docs, I always hope that they will mentor or go into teaching to help pass down their skills.

  • July 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    Permalink

    I went looking for the article thinking I was going to find another doctor who was arrogant and had a God complex. And yes, I had tears in my eyes and was relieved to read that he cares more about his patients than most. And yes, the reason for the patient keeping a notebook was taking back control…I believe it was because we have to. Not because we feel a loss and this helps us feel better. I’ve been to so many docotrs over the years I’ve lost count. You get maybe 10-15 minutes with a doctor and most of that could be catch up from what has happened. Once I started pulling records and looking at doctor’s notes, I realized that they didn’t write down MOST of what we discussed. I’ve been dismissed too many times and didn’t get an RA diagnosis until November and have had this pain for over 20 years. I’ve had doctors dismiss symptoms as normal activity of being a wife and mother. I didn’t ask for this pain, nor do I want it. I want it to stop. So why would I unconsciously make it up? I don’t want to take meds I can’t afford or want the side effects they bring on that are almost as bad as the damn RA itself. I WANT to get up in the morning without suppressing moans that scare my children because I’m so stiff and hurt so damn bad that I get nauseated. I WANT to go outside and swing with my kids but can’t because my hands can’t grip the chains. There are quite a few examples that I can include…but the main one is that I DON’T want to have to go see a doctor every 6 weeks if he thinks I’m crazy or a hypochondriac. My money could be so much better spent, especially since we have to survive on one paycheck because I can’t walk or stand or use my hands on most days to hold a job. But yet I’m too healthy to get disability because my doctor downgrades my symptoms and disease activity. So why in the hell am I still hurting and having to take medicines that are making me feel even worse.

    I’m sorry to rant. But doctors are on my poo-poo list right now and I’ve been having a rough time of it if you couldn’t tell. But southern girls are raised on grits and guilt, so I’ll apologize and suck it up as usual and tell everyone I’m ok as I grit my teeth and grin. Maybe I am a little :silly: crazy.

    • July 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm
      Permalink

      Chelle!!! That was such a great rant I read it aloud to my kids. It would make a great Tshirt but it won’t fit. 😉

  • July 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    Permalink

    I cannot get that article to load.

  • July 10, 2010 at 1:07 am
    Permalink

    Finally got it loaded by cut-paste into a new window. How nice that some doctor finally kinda “got it”! Too bad most don’t.

  • July 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm
    Permalink

    Kelly, as you mentioned, it would be extremely interesting to see if/how Dr. Conley’s perspective has transitioned in the nearly 10 years since he wrote this article.

    My experiences have left me somewhat skeptical. Too often, doctors seem to have lost their grip on those lofty principles of patient care from their third year of residency. After a few years in practice, the practice of medicine becomes more business than calling. We all are human, and we all can fall victim to cynicism, but the danger of irrevocable harm is so much greater when it is a physician who becomes jaded.

    In my opinion, the issue is respect. If I am living with a chronic incurable illness it’s in my best interests to have a mutually respectful relationship with my doctor. He or she must respect my intelligence; respect my opinion; respect my wishes regarding treatment. I in turn must respect my doctor’s professionalism, judgement, commitment.

    No wonder this ideal relationship with our doctors is so hard to achieve…

    • July 14, 2010 at 12:49 am
      Permalink

      I agree completely. Do you think most patients are respectful to doctors? When I think of it, I probably have been too much so. When I know they are wrong, I sometimes haven’t bothered saying so. But, I don’t think doctors treat patients the same way. Maybe it’s the arrogance that comes with title, or the weariness of the business that you mention, but I’ve never had a doctor treat me as an equal unless it was a social situation & the doctor initiated the conversation. Whatever it is, it seems inherent in the profession. It seems that we patients are all looking for a doctor who acts the way you mention, but that is more the exception than the rule.

      • July 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm
        Permalink

        Honestly Kelly, I think for the most part, the personality type to whom being a physician appeals is extremely bright, studious, introverted, and prone to arrogance because they don’t have strong social skills to begin with. Think about it – the sciences as a career typically don’t appeal to “people persons”, do they? So I believe bedside manner, good communications skills, empathy and warmth are likely to be acquired rather than natural for many folks who become doctors – their natural talents just happen to usually lie elsewhere. Of course this generalization doesn’t apply to every doc in the world, but I can’t imagine too many doctors who give it all up to become salesmen, can you?

        You are so right about treating a doc with respect and not always getting it back. I was actually recently told by an ortho, “Stop talking. Point to where it hurts.” I asked him if he had a learning disability and couldn’t understand verbal communication, because if not, I didn’t appreciate being spoken to like a toddler. He apologized, but nonetheless the visit from that point forward was not a good use of my time and I ultimately had to see another ortho.

        Right or wrong, the responsibility for initiating effective communication normally is on the patient. Seems to me I spend alot of time adapting my communications style to the doctor I’m seeing (with varying success), trying to read whether he/she will be annoyed if I mention reading something on the internet, asking for affirmation that he/she has heard and registered my complaint, etc.

        Definitely frustrating; definitely unacceptable; definitely simply the way it is…how do we change it?

        • July 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm
          Permalink

          That’s the trillion dollar question. Patient voice needs to be heard. I have some ideas. Hoping to find more like-minded people & push this thing forward as far as possible.

  • July 14, 2010 at 1:56 am
    Permalink

    The article “Deep Waters” made me cry too. My goodness, that student physician really summed it up so well. It shows that a fresh mind can see different things and how jaded physicians can get with their patients. I will be referring this article to many people as it is just fabulous. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • July 14, 2010 at 2:08 am
      Permalink

      Thank you, Naomi. Deep Waters was written several years ago. I’m trying to contact the not-so-young-doctor now to see how he views things. Did you see my letter to him here at this link?

  • April 25, 2011 at 5:20 am
    Permalink

    I cried too. I’ve had RA for nearly a decade now (may 22 is my trigger event anniversary).

    My GP and specialist know I like to know what is going on, and that I genuinely understand- I did immunology at University for one. But most people roll their eyes when I try to keep records of what is going on. It’s just sensible! especially when she had a doctor (as that patient certainly had) who doesn’t give enough information about *her own body*. That’s what makes me so mad. It was her body that they were discussing. Her’s.

  • February 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    I am so glad to read all these posts.
    I thought I was the only one..lol
    My doctor may be a brain, but when it comes to bed side manner there is none at all. He actually blurted out one time ” if you are not going to listen to me, I will not treat you!”.. are you kidding me?
    At one point I did not go back to him and just tried ignoring the whole problem. By the way this does not work..lol
    I am starting to search for a new doctor…and have to admit I am lost. In the mean time I am going back tuesday, probably to get scolded again.

  • September 23, 2012 at 11:05 am
    Permalink

    i don’t look to my doc for empathy etc. the nurses who give the infusions, take blood, give you the heated blankets – they are all worth their weight in gold. i get my hugs from them! the doctor visit is all business – discuss the pros and cons of the elixer of meds hopefully working to slow down erosion and inflammation. my last visit i finally convinced her to prescribe pain meds. they don’t really address that so much – figuring that if the inflammation is under control with the the elixer, so will be the pain. unfortunately i am in transition every 6 months adjusting dosages and prescriptions and the pain is often out of control. ice bags throughout sleepless nights don’t cut it. i want pain meds on hand. i have to admit i got emotional about it and used a couple of profanities but i got my way! no sympathy or hugs from her but she understood and thankfully wrote out the script!

  • December 5, 2012 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    Part of me is glad he reveals what he thinks because it shows how far we have to go. Unspoken attitudes are more difficult to address, even if common. I too am dismayed by the writer’s attitude and tone. It’s also unethical to bill patients (and thereby often insurance or taxpayers as well as the patient) more because you don’t like them. That’s the doctor’s personal issue to deal with. It’s sad when doctors are so burned out that the extra time some patients require cause them to lose patience and compassion.

    It’s up to the doctor to listen empathetically but to redirect if time is running short and to set a couple of concrete goals that are most important to the patient before the end of the appointment, whether that’s evaluation of new symptoms, pain control, investigation of DMARDs, etc. It sounds to me like one of the patient’s primary goals for the appointment was finding an empathetic rheumatologist, and that’s important for a first appointment. That the patient joked and that the doctor did not get the joke, even if they don’t share the same sense of humor, indicates a fundamental lack of connection.

    For those doctors want to practice more compassion, it seems like it should come more easily. Connect with us and for those who do, stop objectifying us. Let go of the disdain you show as we describe our symptoms or pain and try to attribute the causes for them. We’re all the same–we’re people first, both doctors and patients. Degrees and status don’t make one person better than another, than the patient or the person who bags your groceries or mows your lawn. Of course, a certain percent of people will never have compassion; they don’t want to have it. We probably have to write them off.

Comments are closed.

“imaware™

    Welcome to RA Warrior!

    Welcome

    Thanks for visiting this unique site full of information and encouragement to fight Rheumatoid Disease. You'll find hope, humor, and a helpful online community. I'm Kelly & I'll be glad to show you around if you'll click right here.

    Advertisement

    View more gifts at Zazzle.

    Let's Pin Together!

Would You Like Free Email Updates?
Stay in touch with RA Warrior.
We respect your privacy. Your email address will never be shared.