I think it must be a fact of life that most people spend lots of time doing things they don’t really want to do. Standing in line at the grocery store, sitting and listening to people talk about something they couldn’t care less about (commonly called “work” or “school”), getting stuck in traffic, listening to weird hold music while waiting for that insurance company to pick up the phone.
Me? I spend a lot of time at the doctor’s office.
Now, I’ve never enjoyed doctors, but, having Lyme disease, I have to spend much more time with them than I’d like. So I try to make the best of it, keep my eyes open, and hopefully learn a few things. While doctors are studying me, I’m studying them. And I’ve come to realize that there are about 12 different kinds of doctors….
- The cynical theory: They want to look like they know what they’re doing. Because I guess they don't feel like having a bunch of nurses working under them or getting a lab coat with their name embroidered on it is enough.
- The not-as-cynical theory: They genuinely want to help, and think that a diagnosis will at least make their patient feel better. Though, honestly, being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or MS doesn’t generally do a whole lot for a person's positive mindset.
3) The one who’s only smarter than you because he went into a profession that pays really, really well. This kind is really disconcerting. You meet a doctor and expect him to be able to help you out. And then you realize, “Oh crap. I’m smarter than this guy. How am I smarter than this guy? I can’t believe I’m paying for this.”
4) The one who thinks psychology is the answer to everything. Your neck hurts? Oh, you must be tense about something. Go talk to a psychologist. Fatigued? Must be having relationship issues. You’re bleeding to death? It’s probably just stress.
5) The one who throws medication around like it’s candy. I’m 99% sure that these doctors have never actually consumed the medication they prescribe. Because if they did, I think they would be much more reluctant to be so free-handed about doling out medicine that causes vomiting, memory loss, severe cramping, death, and other minor side-effects.
6) The one laboring under the impression that he has a sense of humor. Look, man. I’m in pain. Just help me out here and quit cracking jokes. I’ve heard that one about ten times, and it wasn't even funny the first time. Do you doctors all read out of the same joke book?
7) The one who has no sense of humor. This is even worse than Dr. Funny. They never smile, never make a joke, are always very serious. They're like a lab-coat wearing, unromantic version of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. Sometimes appointments can be stressful. Lighten up a bit.
8) The one who is super out of the loop. He doesn’t know what’s wrong with you. He probably didn’t even know you existed until you walked in the door. He proceeds to ask you a ton of questions about your condition, all of which you answered hours ago while filling out that form the nurse gave you. So you sit there and wonder: “Why did I fill that piece of paper out? Was that just something they gave me to help pass the two-hour wait in the lobby? Kind of like how restaurants give children coloring pages? At least they let me use a pen instead of a crayon…”
9) The one who is NEVER wrong. Ever. Pigs will fly over a frozen Hell before this doctor has a mistaken thought or gives a wrong diagnosis.
10) The one with all the cool toys. Also the one who wants to test said cool toys out on you. Hyperbaric chambers, some new medication from Mongolia, electro-acupuncture, he’s pretty sure they’ll work. Maybe. At least it will look cool.
11) The one who looks like an evil scientist from a certain Marvel movie. Yeah. That’s my current doctor. He’s Russian, has a Russian accent, is short, older, balding, not exactly skinny, never smiles, wears round glasses, and is extremely smart. Every time he walks into the room, I feel like raising both fists in the air and shouting, “Hail Hydra!” Okay, so Zola’s technically Swiss and my doctor’s Russian, but still. All he needs is a red bowtie and he’s set to start trying to take over the world.
I can never tell whether I think this is kind of disturbing or just extremely awesome.
12) The one with horrible handwriting. Oh. Wait. That’s all of them.
And that about wraps it up. I’m sure I’ll run into more kinds of doctors, and I often run into doctors that are a mix of several different kinds, but right now I can only come up with 12. What about you? Have you noticed any funny personality traits in the various doctors you’ve come across over the years?
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