August 2, 2016

Do You Have a Doctor That Bullies You?

This is a problem for many patients with diabetes. I have had experiences that caused me to leave doctors and I am not happy about this, but I refuse to be one of their patients. Several members of our support group have also needed to leave doctors that bullied them.

What started this is a recent blog by David Mendosa on type 2 diabetes stigmas. I know this is true and he had it well documented, but I could not find anything on the stigma doctors add to our problems. In another blog, David wrote that trust is a major factor in helping patients and sometimes it is necessary to change doctors because you don't trust them.

Doctors that bully diabetes patients just add to the stigma. If you are overweight, have you had a doctor say that having diabetes is your fault? I know I have had this happen to me. The same doctor also told me I had failed because I was on insulin and not an oral medication. He would not listen to anything I tried to tell him and kept repeating that I was a failure. When I got tired of listening to him, I was not too polite when I called him out and told him that he was a bully and I could understand why he needed to transfer so often when patients refused to see him.

Fortunately, I do not need to change doctors since he was another doctor in the office, I had a nurse practitioner managing my diabetes, she knew my history and had never caused concern for me, and I trust her. The bully doctor is no longer in the office and I don't know where he is now.

Doctors that bully patients also threaten patients and in diabetes, many doctors use the threat of insulin to keep patients on oral medications. Other doctors threaten the health of patients when they do not wash their hands between patients in the office and in the hospital. I have seen a few doctors that do wash their hands after contact with some patients, but not with other patients in the office setting.

This article describes the types of bullies and what to do about them. While I don't agree with some of the statements, it is still a good article about what to do with the different types of bully doctors.

This article proves that men are not the only bullying doctors. The patient describing this does an excellent job of being polite and still making her point. Please consider reading both articles.


David Mendosa said...

Great post, Bob! And thank you. While I can't say that a doctor ever bullied me, I did have to fire several of them. I say that I fired them, because I had hired them in the first place. When you have to pay to see a doctor, he or she works for you, so you hire them. I fired one doctor because he refused to prescribe Byetta for me when it was first available. He looked it up and said that I would lose only a few pounds on it. So I got another doctor who did prescribe it to me. I lost 142 pounds during the two years I used Byetta and even more on the very low-carb diet I follow now.

Bob Fenton said...

Thanks David! Sometimes we need to fire doctors and some doctors should not be in medicine sadly, but we do not need to put up with their refusal to discuss things with us in a meaningful way and five us the advantages and disadvantages of a medication. I have occasionally attempted to change primary care doctors, but when they insist on taking me off insulin and prescribing oral medications, I walk out the door and never look back. Even after telling them I get my insulin through the VA, they still want to prescribe oral medications. So I have stayed with my PCP because he knows I get good care through the VA and have no problems with my insulin. He is a little too laid back and I have to shack him up at times.