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July 16, 2008

Few months ago I was talking to one of the doctors from the same Hospital I work at. I showed him the website ratemds. He looked at it and I said, “I don’t buy this. I don’t like the idea patients to rate doctors. Who are they? They don’t know anything about medicine. I can rate somebody I work with for 10-15 years, but a patient can’t rate a doctor. Than he continue…, “I prefer to get treatment from an asshole doctor who is very good, than from somebody nice and polite who is just playing as a doctor without knowing anything”.

Initially I was kind of surprise and said to him, “Yes! The doctor should be knowledgeable. Knowledge comes first, but a good doctor has to know how to sell his knowledge too. He/She should be diplomatic as well. Medical business can be compared at some points to any other business. For example: you have a fabric and make the best shoes, but if you don’t know how to sell your product, how the people will buy from you. He said again, “the best doctors I know are assholes:)”. OK, I questioned him, “why the best doctors are assholes”. He answered,”because if you wanna be a good doctor you have to separate from the patient’s situation. The patient is not your friend. Who is the patient? Nobody…if you want to be the best doctor you don’t have to care that much about the patient and his/her feelings”.

I don’t know what to say. That conversation made me kind of confused. What do you thing? Do you like the best asshole doctor (whatever that means), or you are more into the nice, showing empathy but lacking knowledge one. Is there such thing as the “optimal” doctor. Smart and educated enough, polite enough, respectful enough?

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