Most of us have had direct experience with seeing a doctor or therapist, whether it’s for a checkup or some sort of problem we’ve identified. Some docs are a pleasure to see. I once had the kindest physician who was the epitome of an old-fashioned French country doctor. I’m not sure if he was my best doctor ever (he tended to treat my concerns with a “wait and see” attitude), but he certainly had a fantastic bedside manner and never kept me waiting more than a few minutes.
I appreciated that even more when I went to see my most recent doctor. He was far more gruff, business-like, and running more than 20 minutes late for our appointment. He didn’t apologize for keeping me waiting, and while he listened to my family history with detached professionalism, he went through his canned speech about needing to exercise regularly and other kinds of things with the kind of empty delivery you find in a person who’s said the same thing so many times it has lost all meaning.
Doctors and therapists both can keep bad habits, and they are the kinds of things that turn patients off from them. Patients rarely feel it’s appropriate to address these bad habits directly with the doctor (especially if they intend to keep seeing them), so it was with some relief I came across Dr. Dominic Carone’s blog entry about the “10 ways doctors can lose their patients.”