What Many Doctors Feel Like Telling Some Patients

Reader’s Digest recently asked 24 doctors to discuss what’s really on their minds. The result: a plethora of complaints, opinions and observations about patients and medicine.

Here is some of their thoughts:

I am very sick of being your mother. Every time I see you, I have to say the obligatory, You need to lose 20 pounds. But you swear you don’t eat anything or the weight just doesn’t come off, and the subject is dropped. Then you come in here complaining about your knees hurting, your back is killing you, your feet ache and you can’t breathe when you walk up half a flight of stairs. So I’m supposed to hold your hand and talk you into backing away from that box of Twinkies. Oh, do I get tired of repeating the stuff most patients just don’t listen to.
Cardiologist, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sometimes it’s easier for a doctor to write a prescription for a medicine than to explain why the patient doesn’t need it.
Cardiologist, Bangor, Me.

Twenty years ago, when I just began my practice, my ear, nose and throat procedures financially supported my facial plastic surgery practice. Today, my cosmetic practice is the only thing that allows me to continue to do ear, nose and throat surgeries, which barely cover my overhead.
Ear, nose, throat and facial plastic surgeon, Dallas/Fort Worth

Dont do Friday afternoon procedures. The day after surgery is when most problems happen. If the next day is Saturday, you’re flying by yourself without a safety net, because the units are understaffed and E.R.’s are overwhelmed because doctors’ offices are closed.
Heart surgeon, New York City

In many hospitals, the length of the white coat is relative to the length of training. Medical students wear the shortest coats.
Pediatrician, Baltimore

Often the well known names, the department chairmen, are not the really good clinicians, because they spend most of their time being administrators. They no longer primarily focus on the caring of patients.
Heart surgeon, New York City

Most Everybody thinks all doctors are familiar with one another. But when we refer you to specialists, we often have no clue as to who those people are. Generally, we only know if they accept your insurance plan.
Pediatrician, Hartsdale, N.Y.

Although we don’t cry in front of you, we sometimes do cry about you at home.
Pediatrician, Chicago

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