Friday, December 21, 2007

Still more whining at doctors

I previously mentioned in another blog entry about the deficiencies of doctors and medical students. After much more thinking, I thought of two more areas where doctors are not prolific. I'll probably think of more as time goes on, bare with me...

5. Doctors are not the most organized of people.

With doctors' minds usually focused on important things perhaps it is acceptable for doctors to require people to organize their schedule, such as secretaries or office staff. Yet I find it unacceptable many doctors are late for meetings, teaching sessions and any other scheduled event. They know in advance they have these meetings, including regular events that they know happen at that time. Yet doctors just have a lax attitude, thinking everybody will turn up late and it will not matter if they turn up late. Many doctors develop this attitude in medical school.

The worst evidence of why doctors are so disorganized is their handwriting. Due to our constant time constraints, doctors' handwriting is more of a squiggle than actual legible words. We need to write as little as possible with the maximum information as in little time as possible. It is amazing patients haven't sued against this, with acronyms or abbreviations only the writing doctor can understand. As a medical student, it took a while before understanding the system (or so called 'system') of how a patient's record is constructed. I remember attending a doctors' session regarding medical blunders and it just amazed me after all this time doctors' handwritings have still not improved.

6. Doctors are not environmentally friendly.

Doctors use fifteen paper towels for drying their hands when two will suffice. We throw away tons of paper but don't recycle it because of our constant fear of divulging patients' details, even though we have shredded the information beyond visual recognition. Most doctors own their own car, despite living five minutes away. That includes one of my friends who goes home when she's on call and drives back when the nurses call her.

So even if your doctor looks like Jennifer Morrison or Katherine Heigl, they do may have more flaws they you expect.

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