Your doctor is your EMPLOYEE

Amy - posted on 03/14/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I hear people say all the time..eh, just trust the doctor - they know all.

Do you think you should just do whatever the doctor says or do you look things up and do some research on your own to make sure what he/she's saying is on the level?

Keep in mind like all employees [because at least in most cases in the states, you choose what doc you go to] you can hire or fire based on competency or attitude.

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Johnny - posted on 03/14/2011

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I trust my doctor. Partly, because when he doesn't know, he says so. He'll refer me to a specialist. Or investigate more thoroughly. He does research and calls back. He encourages his patients to be proactive about their own health and thinks it is great if you do some of your own research. He has supported every medical decision I have made for myself.

When I struggled through breastfeeding because of having had a reduction, he asked me all sorts of questions about it. He asked me about what breastfeeding sites I used and about where local LLL meetings were so that he could better support his other patients.

He is also my father and my husband's doctor. They've also had great experiences with him. My father had borderline diabetes, and our doctor's counseling, lifestyle recommendations and dietary suggestions have completely turned it around. He said he won't even recommend medication unless a patient refuses to even try a lifestyle change. My dad has sleeping problems. Instead of giving him a drug to make him sleep, he set him up on a sleep modification program that worked very well.

However, I've had some terrible doctors. I am allergic to sulfa (anti-biotic). My previous doctor, with all my medical info in front of her, prescribed me an anti-biotic for a kidney infection that was related to sulfa. It caused my kidneys to fail and I nearly had to go on dialysis. I spent a week in the hospital and over a month on bed rest. Since then, on 2 separate occasions when I've been traveling and had to go to a walk-in clinic, I've been prescribed anti-biotics that I am allergic to. I did my research so that I'd know which ones to be careful of. Its now at the point that if I go to a walk-in clinic, I just basically tell them what to give me because they can't seem to figure it out for themselves. Frightening.

My great-aunt had undiagnosed varicose veins for years. When I was in high school, I asked her why she didn't get them done like my mother did. She was in constant pain. She didn't know what varicose veins were, and her doctor had never acknowledged that it was what was causing the leg pain she'd been complaining about for years. He just put her on painkillers.

Doctors are like anything else. Some are great, lots are good, some are mediocre and a few are criminally bad.

Erin - posted on 03/14/2011

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As someone who works with doctors, my advice is that if you can't trust your doctor then it's time to find another one!

The doctor-patient relationship can be very delicate, and there are a multitude of reasons for why they fail. Some of that is because yes, doctors are just people. They are not superhuman (contrary to some people's beliefs) and they bring their own personal experiences and opinions to the consultation room. For example, a doctor who has lost a patient due to them missing something simple is likely going to be super cautious when treating the next patient with the same problem. Ideally, each patient could be seen with a clean slate (no expectations, no assumptions), but doctors are not robots.

No medical decisions should be taken lightly. Thought and consideration should always be taken, and sometimes you may disagree and request an alternative. Completely understandable in some cases. But if you do not trust your treating doctor and are simply going to dismiss their advice, why even bother going? Go to Dr Google instead.

PS.. I say this as someone who has a major problem with the role of OBs in pregnancy and birth. When I talk about doctors treating you, I mean for illness or injury. Pregnancy doesn't qualify as either so I am not necessarily including OBs in this opinion.

Krista - posted on 03/14/2011

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I wouldn't call my doctor my employee. I consider my doctor to be in the same realm as my accountant: someone who has years of experience and training in their field, and who can aid me with an aspect of my life in which my own competence is seriously lacking. There's nothing wrong with calling in a professional when it comes to something important. And of course, if that professional gives me advice that seems hinky, you get a second opinion. And if your professional doesn't do a good job, you bring your business elsewhere. But ideally, the professional you hire will work WITH you (nor for you, or over your head) and will be a valuable and important resource for that important aspect of your life.

Iridescent - posted on 03/17/2011

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Back to the car analogy; if I'm in a car accident and my car is totaled, I have the right to hire whoever I wish to do the repairs. If I'm not happy with them, I get to go back and have it done right. This is despite the fact that I have car insurance and I'm not paying every cent out of pocket. Does having insurance mean I have less right to decide what is done with my vehicle? Nope. It's mine, which means it's my choice.

I have health insurance. I pay a premium for a service to be given. I choose the doctor, and I can either agree with or disagree with their decision, but it is still my body, my insurance, my money, my choice. They are my employee.

Lacye - posted on 03/15/2011

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To be honest, there is only two people in the medical field that I trust when it comes to my health and neither one is a doctor. The first is the nurse practitioner that I take my daughter to. She is the only person that has actually has any sense in the town I live in. The other person is the midwife I went to when I was pregnant. She was awesome and listened to everything that I said. If I wasn't feeling right, she would figure out what it was. If I ever have another child, I would go to her.

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Kate CP - posted on 03/17/2011

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Yep, I take what my doc says with a grain of salt...and I've been seeing this guy since I was 10. He's seen 3 generations of my family now and I completely trust him. But when he tells me that I should pump and dump breast milk on the infected side when I have mastitis I tend to ignore him. Or when he says to give my son 1 oz of water during every feed when he was first born because he was jaundiced...I ignored him. His nurse also suggests I feed my 7 week old son cereal because he's nursing every 2 hours during the day. I'm ignoring that, too.

But this is also the doctor that catches things that other doctors can't catch. He won't give me antibiotics for every little cough and sniffle my daughter has. And he's not afraid to say "I don't know. Let me refer you."

He's my employee...but I trust him. But I also don't think he's God.

[deleted account]

I dont always listen to my doctor, it has worked out very well many times.I wont sit easy if i think there advise etc was not right.I also ask questions a lot in the doctors.I make them explain everything to me.I want to know what i am taking etc and why.You would be suprised were i live how many people are taking meds and not knowing why they are.I had one friend who was told she had to be put on meds when she goes into labour, she did not know why.I had a chat with her and turns out she had bleeding, which was due to strep b and thats why she has to take meds before the baby passes through.She went home with some research i did and i told her to talk to her gp.She said i told her everything the gp did and she felt at ease.I would not of left that doctor without knowing everthing.I took my daughter to the doctor and said she has an ear infection.She said oh does she and how do you know.Turns out she had two bad ear infections, i also think the doctors dont like at times if your clued in on stuff.I am not at the level those doctors are and i respect that but im not thick either.

Stifler's - posted on 03/17/2011

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I don't think my doctor is my employee. I have great doctors. They don't just prescribe, prescribe, prescribe with the anti-biotics over anything I take Logan or myself there for. I do trust them to know more about my health since they went to medical school for 6 years and I didn't. Logan gets seen for free anyway. I used to work in aged care and I just laughed at people who thought I was their employee. They paid $2 an hour for me to come around and shower them and clean their house, if I was really their employee they'd be paying a fuck load more. Same with doctors, we pay what Medicare doesn't cover here.

Iridescent - posted on 03/17/2011

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My mechanic knows more about my car than I ever will. He is my employee when I am paying him to service my car. My doctor is in the same category, and fortunately, they know it in our case. My doctor accepted my family to provide primary care for; that was a favor to me. I trust them with our lives; that is a favor to them. It works both ways. They are my employee, and they know it quite well. If I am unhappy with my care, I will discuss it with them, find out why they came to the conclusions they have, discuss alternatives, and if I'm still unhappy I will seek a second opinion from another "employee".

Sharon - posted on 03/15/2011

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I trust my doctors to a certain extent. We're supposed to be partners. I KNOW where the pain in my ear comes from, is it pressure? Is it hot? Does it move (like a liquid)?

I've had lousy doctors and I've had good doctors and I've had doctors who needed a nudge in the proper direction FOR MY good and they were ok doctors.

No I do not think a person should 'just do' what a doctor says.

Sometimes I'll just take the prescription my doctor gives, but I'll research the medicine/dosage/diagnosis before taking it. It just saves time. There has been plenty of times I've figured he's full of shit and tossed the medicine to the side.

Sarah - posted on 03/15/2011

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We have the NHS here, so I don't think of my GP as my employee at all really.

I trust my GP, I trust that most doctors know a hell of a lot more than I do about all things medical!

I guess a lot of it depends on what you're going to the doctors for, I mean, if I break my arm, I'm not going to question the doctor's decision to put it in plaster or whatever. I'm not going to research it all before hand......I'll just take the drugs and get my arm fixed!

If it was some sort of disease I had, or I needed an operation for some reason, then yeah, I would probably do a little research, find out more about it, see if what my gut reaction to what would be the best course of action matches with the doctors etc. Unless it was something that I was extremely against or worried about though, I would probably follow the doctors advice.

When it came to giving birth, I trusted my midwives. In hindsight, at the hospital I started out at with my first......I shouldn't have, they sucked. Once I got to a better hospital, they were fine. (until after baby came......then they sucked again!) In fact, I've more problems with midwives than I ever have with doctors!!

For my kids, the first few years of their lives, I would have called their Health Visitor, not my GP.

I guess I think that although we should research things and find out more and ask questions, I also think that these are professionals who usually know what their talking about. As Becky said, if you're SO mistrusting of doctors.......why bother having one?!

Erin - posted on 03/15/2011

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We definitely need to be our own advocates, and follow our gut. If something doesn't feel right, you are well within your rights to challenge it. Ask the hard questions or seek a second opinion. But at the end of the day, these guys are experts in treating illness and injury. And if you can't trust their knowledge then there is something seriously wrong.

My position with OBs is different. Being medical doctors, they specialise in treating illness. In a normal pregnancy, there is no illness, so therefore they tend to over-manage it because they are trained to look for problems. They are absolutely vital in women with complicated pregnancies, but I would always be cautious of their opinion in a low risk situation.

Becky - posted on 03/14/2011

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I trust my doctor. There have been a few times when I've thought he was a little rushed, or I questioned his judgement, but so far, he hasn't been wrong. He's always willing to take extra time to explain things and answer questions. I certainly do my own research as well, but I do trust him. And he is wonderful with my kids.
I haven't always been so lucky. When I was in university, my period just stopped coming. I went to a few doctors, who told me it was just stress, etc. I wasn't that stressed! I knew it was more, and did the research and had diagnosed myself before I finally got sent to an endocrinologist and OB/GYN and was diagnosed with PCOS. I wasn't a big fan of my OB with Cole, my oldest either. She never did anything to harm me, I just didn't feel she took me seriously enough when I expressed concern about my baby's well-being because I was so sick I couldn't keep anything down. In the end though, when it mattered, she did take things seriously, so we ended up with a healthy, though small, baby. For my next, I requested to go to a different practice, staffed by Family practitioners who specialized in low-risk pregnancies, instead of by OBs. I loved them.
Anyways, all that to say... I think that unless you are a doctor yourself, you need to trust your doctor. That's not to say you shouldn't ask questions and do your own research, because they are human and they are fallible. But if you are just going to refuse to follow any advice your doctor gives you, then why even bother seeing a doctor?

Julie - posted on 03/14/2011

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I choose to have an Obstetrician for his experience and knowledge and I was happy to be guided by his opinions etc. Being an older Mum with loads of friends with babies/children, no delivery seems to go to "plan".
I would only change if I had a clash of personalities.

Mel - posted on 03/14/2011

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just read all your stories so sad! Cant believe they can put peoples health at risk like that. My situation was no where near that severity, however my daughter spent 18 months on an unnecessary nasal gastric tube because my doctors preffered for her to keep using it just for the hell of making her a little bigger, when I was the same build at her age, I had to pay $2000 to an Austrian clinic to take her off the tube. It seemed so stupid. Not long after my duaghter was weaned, maybe a month or 2, a lady contacted me through the tube feeding site, who lives 20 mins from me, and same pediatrician, he wouldnt admit it to me I guess, but he must have realised he was wrong. He let this lady wean her child from home a child with cerebal palsy and severe eating aversions. I was so angry that my baby who was capable of eating, and alot bigger then this other bub who was the same age, was refused weaning with the methods they then let someone else try. The only plus side is, after she was tube free they saw her ocne said good job said they wouls see her again on her 2nd birthday and I never heard from any of them again and that was 18 months ago

Lady Heather - posted on 03/14/2011

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Oh man, I have had some doozies. 8 doctors told me I was fat and depressed (at 5'5 and 130 lbs and NOT depressed at all) when I actually had fibromyalgia. Two years were wasted trying to get help from people who weren't interested in helping me.

But my favourite was my old family doctor. He thought I had a tilted uterus so he sent me for an ultrasound. Said everything was fine. Fast forward about 10 months and I get a call from my midwife. "Why didn't you tell me you had a bicornuate uterus???" Ummm...??? Apparently he'd known about the whole time but decided I didn't need to know. This thing comes with pretty serious complications in pregnancy. I needed extra monitoring to make sure my kid was okay. If I had stayed with my doctor I doubt I would have got it because he sure didn't mention anything to me in the two times I saw him for my pregnancy before I made the switch. Yeah.

The doctors that have actually started to turn me back towards the medical community have been the local obstetricians. Some of us have to have medical births. And I have to say that we are pretty damn lucky where I live to have some of the best obstetricians ever.

Minnie - posted on 03/14/2011

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Well, in a situation that requires emergency care you're not likely to have the doctor you hand-picked because his or her philosophy coincides with yours. You'll be at the emergency room, with whomever is on-call, and that's that.

Yes- I agree with you, Erin- illness and injury I do see differently. I guess for me, things like pregnancy, childbirth and child well-being are in different categories.

Charlie - posted on 03/14/2011

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A doctor is not your employee , you use their services . simple .
You do not "hire" them , you go to THEM for their services they do not come to you for a job , you do not "fire" them you no longer use their service they continue to have a job after YOU leave .

If you don't like or trust your doctor get a new one if their advice seems iffy get a second opinion .

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I've seen too much crazy information online to be able to trust anything I'M capable of googling over the doctor that I KNOW went to medical school. Maybe if I had good googling skills I'd trust myself, but I don't, so I don't.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/14/2011

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Here is the problem with the Dr. is the employee statement...They know a hell of alot more about their job than I ever will.....they are gonna call the shots for the most part. If I am on the table, hemorraging, I am gonna expect them to know their shit and save my life...not for them to wait a second so I can do some quick research on line....or post a question to my fellow CoM's.

It is essential to find a doctor that coincincides with your beliefs, this way you do trust them in moments of quick acting decisions that may save your life.

Minnie - posted on 03/14/2011

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Call me jaded. I've heard too much misinformation from those in white coats and been on the receiving line of poor medical judgement too often for me to blithely do whatever a doctor tells me to.

I am happy knowing that other people do have doctors they trust though.

[deleted account]

I trust my kids doc or he wouldn't BE their doc. He's not perfect, of course, cuz he IS human and I don't always listen to every word he says, but he's an excellent doctor and I most certainly do trust him when it comes to the medical care of my children.

Mel - posted on 03/14/2011

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definately not. These days at least where I live my family and everyone I know are left wondering where doctors got their degree because they literally know nothing ESPECIALLY about children. Its sad when you just know there is no poit in going to a doctor because they will just waste your time. I get sick of going back for the same things. I would most definately do my research and never rely on what a doctor says

Mrs. - posted on 03/14/2011

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After years of medical problems and a lot of doctor dating (I think finding a good doctor is as hard as finding a good husband). I found that I had to be my best advocate, to be knowledgable, researched and organized as I would for any job. My health is a job and the doctor is an important co-worker.

When it came time to find a new GP, I researched who was taking new patients and did an "interview" of the docs. Some docs hated this, I had one lady tell me to leave because she did not want me asking her any questions (what a twat). My gp was happy to answer any questions and very open to patients being strong advocates for their health. He's the best GP I've ever had and I'm glad I had the balls to ask the question I needed to ask in order to find out how great he really is.

Amy - posted on 03/14/2011

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Sorry if employee offended anyone. I am paying them for a service, so that's what I call my doctor - even if he is a friend.

Bondlets - posted on 03/14/2011

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Jenny - But doctors make mistakes. I had a doctor who prescribed a dose of meds that I suspected was way too high. I called repeatedly and made him really angry. I finally wrote a letter detailing my concerns, sent it to his nurse who cornered the doctor and begged him to read it. According to the nurse, "He went pale and said, "Good God, she is right." This is one of AZ's Top Docs, btw.

My OB nearly caused my death by not ordering the tests I begged him to because he didn't believe I had an ectopic pregnancy. When the test results came in I recognized what was happening and told him I had an ectopic. He (with much annoyance) told me to drink some water and give it a week. I ended up having emergency surgery 2 nights later.

Doctors have education and skills yet they are not always right for every patient and in every situation.

Jenny - posted on 03/14/2011

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I have a good doctor. I would never call her my employee. She is my guide. I trust her education, experience and skills. I've never been to medical school, what the hell do I know?

Bondlets - posted on 03/14/2011

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Medical beliefs and practices change, sometimes faster that we realize. What was deemed acceptable with my first baby, for example, was taboo by the time #3 came along just 2.5 years later. Doctors are not perfect and neither is their expertise. I believe patients should educate themselves above all, question most things, and accept nothing blindly. I believe this the most strongly when it comes to obstetrics and pediatric care.

[deleted account]

My mother had a kidney stone for 5 years. Kept going to the doctor about sever pain and he did shit for her until her kidney got clogged completely, backed up poisoned her, then he wanted to remove her kidney. She went to a different doctor and he removed the stone put in a plastic stent and she has full function of her kidney back.

Amy - posted on 03/14/2011

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My mother was repeatedly told she had a UTI and they kept giving her stuff for it, kept having problems....and finally had an emergency surgery for tubal pregnancy or she could have died from complications of it. Almost lost my mother due to someone 'tired of her whining about a uti" - what the doc said. I remember it well.



I have a cousin who doesn't research a thing. Whatever the doc says she does. Even though her kids don't have something, they get medicated for soemthing because her doc says ...well, it's going around, may as well give them meds for it. Why medicate a child when they don't have that problem? Frustrates me. But, not my kids. I even had to switch doctors because my son is intact and two years ago when he was an infant he was about to retract and i actually yelled no and he jumped. I packed my son up and told him why I was leaving. He said you are supposed to retract. So, some doctors still aren't always informed properly. We now go to a doc we love. I do heed his advice more willingly and I have to admit he is so good at doing things naturally that I have few fears at all with him. I love it when a Medication could be prescribed, but he tells me simple home remedies to fix it. Cost us less, no reactions and kids are better in no time. If only he delivered babies...lol.

[deleted account]

People, no matter what school you have, can be wrong. I never trust anyone to make a decision for me. I research myself and come up with my own conclusions.

Nikki - posted on 03/14/2011

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I agree, and no I never just trust the doctor, not when it comes to my daughter anyway. Doctor's are just people, they make mistakes and over look things as well.

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