In Nigeria, the doctor is that one person almost everyone sees as invincible. In fact, having one as a member of your family is like a hydra-headed trophy. From making illnesses virtually disappear, to saving lives; these group of people are seen as demi-gods. Contrary to what you might think, there are things you do that could make them lose morale. Shall we take a look?
One thing quite a number of people dislike is having to go to the hospital. The next best option is to phone the doctor and narrate what the problem is. Then they get upset when the doctor advises that they still come to the hospital. How do I put this? The doctor isn’t asking to see you because of boredom. They are trained to observe in order to detect what is particularly wrong. Please, see a doctor! The consequences of telephone consulting can be very dangerous.
Another common habit is calling the doctor at odd hours. Some have no problem calling at midnight or even wee hours of the morning. After all, a doctor is built for emergencies right? Sorry to burst your bubbles, but doctors do sleep. They are humans too. This is the exact reason why they have, what they refer to, as ‘doctors on call’ who run night shifts. So before picking the phone, be sure to glance at the clock or head to the hospital.
Accurate Time Keeper
It is an irony that the most impatient people you sometimes find in the hospital are called patients. If in doubt, visit the hospital waiting room today. The place is filled with grumbling and hissing; people consistently complaining about how much time the doctor is wasting, when seeing each patient. Some have even gone as far as bursting into the consulting room! Perhaps hoping to nab the doctor playing snooker with the patient? Here’s the thing… Medical science isn’t a ‘one dose fits all’ approach. So, different cases require different procedures. So dear patient, kindly be patient.
In the consulting room, the doctor’s first question typically is, “What’s the problem?” It appears that some patients have interpreted this to mean, “I want a spot on diagnosis right now!” Some even go as far as googling all their symptoms before showing up at the hospital. Then, they confidently declare what the ailment is. A common answer is malaria. As if that isn’t enough, they already know the drug they want; demanding it from the doctor! First things first; the hospital is not a courtroom. Moreover… Do you really want to compare your 30 minutes of ‘intense research’ with 7 years of training, time of practice not included? Please, think again. When the doctor asks what the problem is, give him the symptoms.
What Lies Beneath
Another aspect is when the doctor asks “What is the problem?” The patient wholeheartedly tells the story. The doctor dutifully decides to run some tests, only to discover it was a pack of LIES! This is more common when the patient thinks his or her story is quite embarrassing; for example, STDs or injuries as a result of domestic violence. In spite of how humiliated you might feel, you need to understand one thing, lying to your doctor could cost you your life. Wrong diagnosis means wrong medication. In this matter, the saying that “honesty is the best policy” is an understatement.
It’s an emergency!!
A phone call comes in, “Doctor! Doctor! It’s an emergency!” The doctor jumps into the car and does all the James Bond driving to get to the patient’s home. The house door opens and the patient who is all smiles, by the way, says, “I’m feeling a little sensation in my back. What do you think?” And you wonder why the doctor isn’t smiling? An emergency ought to be… well… an emergency! Have some respect for your doctor’s time schedule, not to mention emotions. Besides, I’m sure you heard about the boy who cried wolf. You don’t want that do you?
Just remember, that the feeling of leaving the hospital premises smiling is not an exclusive right of the patient. Everyone deserves it, including your doctor. Let’s lend our support to make their work easier. Don’t make them cry.