To the New Doctor at My Practice, From an Undiagnosed Patient
I know you’re still getting to know patients. I totally get it — you would like a little more time with each. Like you, I find it frustrating appointment slots are 15 minutes. Yes, I know you’ve seen several patients already today, and then I walk in.
I am that patient doctors may dread, but it is not my fault that so far, there is no diagnosis.
I want you to commit to working with me.
I want you to advocate for me.
I need you to be the doctor who finally sends a referral.
I need you to not be like other doctors, and say I need to see a specialist, and then do nothing about it.
Even though there may not be much you can do for me, I need your care, I need your compassion, I need to not see your frustration, because I am sitting here, and you can’t do much for me.
If it turns out I can describe what I experience in medical terms, don’t put me down, don’t think of me as drug-seeking, don’t shut off because I am trying my best to communicate in a way you can understand.
Don’t turn your head away from me.
If I remind you about that prescription, don’t get angry at me.
To you, it’s just a piece of paper.
To me, it’s something that may help me cope… tomorrow…next week…next month…
Until an answer is finally found.
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