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5 Common Myths About Doctors, Part 2

Picking up where Part 1 left off, we're exploring doctor myths like: Do doctors get paid for administering vaccines? Why are they late? What makes them so stoic?

By
Sanaz Majd, MD
5-minute read
Episode #262

I’ve been employed in three various settings as a physician by now—in public health, in a managed care organization, and in a very large non-profit medical group. And I can tell you that none of them routinely double-book patients. And as physicians, we despise having to be double-booked because we know it’s going to be a rough day if that happens.

The reason we run late is quite complex, and as I outlined in my prior article, it is because it truly is a reflection of two complex components:

  1. The current U.S. healthcare system that fails to properly value and reimburse primary care physician time and services. Hence, in order to pay the outrageously high-cost of overhead, more patients must be seen in smaller time slots.
  2. Taking care of people’s health and lives is complex. It’s not black-and-white. Patients who are seemingly scheduled for a “simple cold” may actually be in respiratory distress and near death. They may be coming in for a routine follow-up on a medication but their blood pressure may incidentally be sky-rocket high, enough to stroke out. We never know what’s behind that exam room door, and we cannot predict it well beforehand, let alone schedulers who book the appointments.

Doctors Are Cold and Emotionless

Perhaps you have been turned off by a doctor or two who seemed cold and emotionless, even seemingly rude. Well, this “hardening” process of the soul begins in medical school, when we are fresh, young, and malleable. I’ve described my personal experience in medical school in detail in this article.

If your doctor allows emotions to interfere, it may incapacitate them and negatively influence their job.

There’s an underlying, unspoken, yet not always so subtle push from the medical profession to toughen us up from the get-go. Isn’t this what the military also strives to accomplish with its soldiers? My husband, a former marine who fought frontline infantry in Desert Storm, describes a very similar desensitization phenomenon beginning with boot camp. Expressing your emotions as a physician is similarly a big no-no. This unspoken culture that is cultivated in the medical community is kept under wraps, this idea that somehow we are expected not to feel. And if you do express sadness or tears, you are seriously looked down upon.

Why, you may ask? What is the purpose of creating Cyborg-like physicians? Well, imagine as a primary care physician, for instance, that on an average day, you see several patients suffering from depression with one contemplating suicide, another one or two who despise you for caring enough to help them overcome the prescription drugs that are driving their addiction, and that one patient who truly feels like a thousand patients, because they are suffering from a very grave illness…and frankly, they are one of the nicest people you’ve ever met.

How does one cope with all that, every day? If your doctor allows emotions to interfere, it may incapacitate them and negatively influence their job. It’s not easy to take home all of these emotions every single day.

But do you want to know the truth? We do. We still stay up for hours at night pondering over these intense experiences each day…we just don’t show it.

If you’d like to continue to follow Dr. Majd throughout her video blogging journey, check out her her Instagram page (@ dr.s.majd) or her facebook page. And stay tuned for her final farewell episode next time.

Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only.  This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider.  Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

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Medical Disclaimer
Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.