Why I No Longer Say, 'I Hate Doctors'

Many of us in the chronic illness community have had our share of negative experiences when it comes to doctors. Often we are faced with ignorance and arrogance about our illness, often we are subject to harsh remarks and disbelief. This happens all too frequently, but not all doctors are like this, not all doctors are bad.

I have a long history of doctors being negative to me and telling me that I am making up my illness for attention. These negative experiences started at the young age of 14 years old. I used to always say “I hate doctors,” grouping them all together as arrogant people who did not care for the well being of any of their patients. However, I had to re-examine this stance, realizing that not all doctors are the same and some of them do actually care about their patients.

I am lucky to have a primary care doctor who believes everything I tell her. Never has she questioned the validity of my illness, never has she made me feel like I have done something wrong. She goes to great lengths to help me to the best of her abilities. This had me thinking back to when I was a kid, leading up to when my symptoms started to overwhelm me.

As a child, during the beginning of what has now become my normal life, I was also fortunate enough to have a truly caring primary care doctor. Those days are kind of a blur to me, so much happened in such a little time. But I remember one moment in particular, my childhood primary care doctor gave me a stuffed bear once when I was in the hospital. She didn’t have to do that, she did that because she cared about what was going on in my life. She cared not only about my physical health, but my emotional wellbeing too.

We are quick to point out the negative experiences we’ve had with doctors, quick to recall the ridicule and humiliation of not being taken seriously, that we often forget to take time to point out the kindness of others. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, not everyone has a positive experience when it comes to doctors. But for those who do, remember to take time to be grateful for them.

I still dread going to the doctors, even if it is my primary care doctor. The negative experiences I have endured have impacted me to my very core. I still want to say “I hate doctors” every single time, but now I force myself to not say this. During these times I remind myself that not all doctors are the same, and I take time to be grateful that I have had many positive experiences with doctors who truly care.

I just want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful doctors and nurses I have had over the years, thank you for believing me, thank you for caring about me as a person and not as a patient. Instead of focusing on my bad experiences I will choose to look to you and remember that at the very core of the medical profession there are people who actually do care.

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