When Doctors Don’t Understand

I have been seeing a dermatologist for the past 50 plus years. Most of them never got my treatment plan right. I have always wondered that if I had a doctor that was suffering like I was that they would understand what I was going through. If they had a personal insight into the disease would this make them a better doctor? Can a doctor who has never suffered any of my symptoms really understand the emotional and physical pain of what I was going through? Of course, they don’t; but they have treated other patients with psoriasis, even if they don’t suffer from it themselves. Have you still felt like sometimes your doctor isn’t sympathetic enough or doesn’t fully get what you’re going through?

Wanting understanding and compassion

I have felt so many times, especially during an outbreak when seeing my doctor of feeling so alone and embarrassed. What you have to keep in mind is doctors often look at patients from an unemotional standpoint. I have lost count of how many times I have broken down in a doctor’s office. Of course; part of a doctor’s bedside manner should be understanding, have compassion and even sympathetic when needed. However, they are there to evaluate you and figure out the best way to treat your psoriasis. Patients and doctors know that psoriasis is more than just a disease, it affects your entire life. Every patient is different so they need to spend quality time evaluating you. This doesn’t mean making you feel like you’re not important or making you feel uncomfortable. Nobody wants a doctor to brush off what we are feeling as trivial or exaggerated.

Partnering with your doctor

Over the years I have learned to communicate with my doctor what I need from them and what is important to me. Doctors are not mind readers, so if you’re unhappy about something then speak up. You need to express to your doctor how your psoriasis makes you feel physically and emotionally. This will help him to decide what will work best for our needs and put together a treatment plan to treat our psoriasis; not just write you a prescription. You need to give honest, detailed accounts of pain, how you’re feeling and flare-ups. Tell the doctor what you want them to know about your psoriasis and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If there is a question your doctor is not asking you, then mention it to them. As a matter of fact, make a list of questions to take with you to the doctor’s office.

You need to be comfortable with your doctor and dermatologist. Keeping an open line of communication is a great way to have a productive doctor, patient relationship. However, if your still unhappy, you may reach out to a local psoriasis support group for a good referral. You can also read online reviews and do additional research to try and find the right doctor for you. Having a doctor who understands everything this disease can do is important to your wellbeing. This will be an ongoing relationship and you need to feel comfortable enough to confide in your doctor. Be fair and understand that just because your doctor doesn’t suffer from psoriasis, doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand the magnitude of the complications.

Take the time to find the best doctor suited for you and when you do, remember communication is key.

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