I sometimes hear people say that they best way to get good health care is to be obnoxious. By this, they mean that you should demand that the doctor see you immediately, or that you should demand that your needs be met first.

Let me give you some advice: Don’t be obnoxious. It always works against you.

There are times that it’s entirely appropriate that you speak up and advocate for yourself or a loved one, but please do so politely.

Some patients complain about everything. When you complain all the time, people stop listening and you become part of the background noise.

If you’re really obnoxious, people think of you as a special case requiring special attention.

In health care, it’s better not to be a special case. You want to be like everyone else because the systems work better and health professionals maintain their normal rhythms.

VIPs sometimes get bad care for this very reason. They’re treated differently and that leads to mistakes. I recently read an account of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. When they took Reagan to the emergency room at George Washington Hospital, the physician who always travels with the president kept reminding the staff to treat Reagan like everyone else and with their normal protocols.

There’s a lesson in this for the rest of us. Don’t demand special treatment because special treatment is often bad medicine.

And remember that health care professionals are humans, too. They respond better to kindness and thoughtfulness than to rudeness. We all do.

 


Reprinted with permission of the Ithaca Journal.
Original publication date: June 28, 2014

 

Click here to see all of Bob’s columns

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
On Key

Related Posts

From CRC Board of Directors:

It is with profound regret that the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes Board of Directors has been notified that Marilee Murphy will be stepping down as Executive Director

Volunteer Extraordinaire

Congratulations to our fabulous volunteer, Nancy Whitebird, for receiving recognition as a “Partner in Philanthropy” at the 2020 National Philanthropy Day celebration via Zoom on November 13th. Please enjoy Nancy’s recognition video and read more about

Lymphedema Support Group – 12/9

Change of date!  The Lymphedema Support Group will be meeting on Wednesday Dec. 9 at 5:30pm on Zoom.  We will be attending the LANROC (Lymphedema Awareness Network of Rochester) to