If you want to know what doctors think, and more importantly, how they feel about their jobs, read KevinMD.
(This post has affiliate links.)
Founded by Dr. Kevin Pho in 2004, this blog features articles by thousands of doctors, representing multiple specialties, ages, genders, ethnicity and practice setting. They write on multiple topics related to health, the science, practice, business, and politics of medicine, the doctor-patient relationship, and anything else even remotely related to medicine and health care.
On KevinMD you will not find detailed infographics, slick images, or cute printables.
You will find stories filled with raw emotion as physicians candidly share the horrific struggles, the occasional remarkable successes, and the everyday grind of providing healthcare to hurting, needy, sometimes demanding, occasionally grateful patients.
And you will hear from patients whose experiences with physicians and the healthcare system range from sublime to horrendous.
You may not like or agree with some of the things you read there-I often don’t and I’m a doctor myself. That’s part of the point of this blog. We physicians are not homogeneous. We are individuals with different stories to tell from differing points of view, based on background, training, and experience.
The blog is divided into sections based on broad categories of topics –
Some of the articles are directed to patients while others are physician oriented. I encourage you to read some of both, in addition to the ones I am sharing here.
Many of the physician authors write their own blogs, so it is a good place to explore and discover other health bloggers that you may enjoy.
How doctors feel about relationships with patients-
Dr. Jennifer Lycette , an oncologist who blogs at The Hopeful Cancer Doc, offered her take on a situation that I have encountered more than once myself.
“To address a female physician as “Mrs.,” even if she is married, is to imply that despite all her professional accomplishments, her worth is reduced to her marital status. It ignores all the hard work that went into earning the title of “Doctor,” and denotes, whether intentional or not, that a female physician is somehow less deserving of the title than a male physician.”
How patients feel about communicating with doctors
Martine Ehrenclou is a patient advocate.
She is the author of Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive and The Take-Charge Patient.
She submitted an interesting piece on a controversial topic, that of patients recording their visits with doctors, either with or without permission.
“patients are in fact secretly recording conversations with their doctors without asking permission first.
Talk about a blow to the doctor-patient relationship.
I understand the hesitation to ask permission to record an office or hospital visit with a medical provider as I experienced it myself. But secretly recording is a violation of trust. Why would any patient surreptitiously tamper with the relationship with their doctor, something that is considered the cornerstone of quality care?’
Documenting information your doctor gives you is essential because it’s just too easy to misunderstand or forget the medical information conveyed. “
She offers these
How doctors think about treating illness
Dr. Eileen Sprys is a family physician who wants you to know
“I want you to know that as a physician, I feel a pang of insecurity, guilt, and sadness when a patient tells me they’re upset because I won’t write an antibiotic. I don’t want you to be sick or miserable.
I understand how inconvenient and sometimes life altering a cold can be. I desperately, desperately wish that I had a cure for your cold, but none of us do.
I also want you to know that for every antibiotic I over-prescribe, that I run the unnecessary risk of making someone even more sick, even to the point of hospitalization or death. I went into medicine to help you and to relieve your suffering with integrity — and that by giving you antibiotics without indication, I am betraying my own purpose.”
What doctors want you to know but don’t have time to tell you
Number 8 is “I’m only human.”
“We have our good days and bad days just like anyone else. We try to always have a smile on our faces, be upbeat and cheerful. But we, too, are affected by life’s challenges — work, family, finances, health, and so on. Don’t be too quick to judge and criticize!”
What doctors do away from their practice
KevinMD does have a few photos, and even some videos. I enjoyed this one by physician-comedian Brad Nieder, MD who blogs at the The Healthy Humorist.
In this clip he explains how he learned to eat less.