Blog | Monday, May 19, 2008

Worst bedside manner ever


One would think that life as dermatologist would be sweet enough (limited hours, good reimbursement) that you would be able to be pleasant to your patients. Apparently not. I just had a routine skin check with the most aggressively unsociable academic dermatologist imaginable. He walked in to the room with his magnifying headgear already on, never introduced himself, spoke only in unintelligible grunts (which were translated by the resident), was physically rough in the exam, and recommended a follow-up visit (with no explanation) on his way out the door.

It depresses me not only that such doctors are in practice, but especially that they are demonstrating their behavior for medical students and residents. Thankfully, my resident clearly knew better than to model his attending's example, but who knows who else he has taught?

I'm sure none of our blog readers have such abysmal bedside manner, but in case it needed repeating, I just wanted to reaffirm that all of us patients truly do appreciate it when you take the time to talk, explain yourself, and generally treat us like people rather than specimens.