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The Most Impressive Thing a Doctor Can Say to Me

At the age of 14, I have been to over a dozen doctors and specialists, and the one thing I find interesting is how they try to impress you. It seems to me like society accepts people who pretend to have all the answers and facts instead of those who are simply honest and humble, saying the words “I don’t know.” Doctors are no exception.

Which brings me to the point: While I understand that doctors want to appear intelligent and well-educated (and they almost always are), when you have been to countless doctors who try to throw every inexplicable reason for your symptoms at you, you begin to wonder how much they know and how much they are faking their knowledge.

I have heard everything from “you’re faking it” to “you need to exercise more” to “it’s just your anxiety.” While, granted, I maybe should exercise more and I do have anxiety, I know for a fact (and I suspect they do too) that these things are not the culprit of my poor health. I speak as an ill person looking for answers when I say the most impressive quality in a doctor for me is honesty.


Let’s be real. The person who holds your health and possibly the answers is probably the person you would want to be most honest. That’s why, for me, the most impressive sentence a doctor can say is “I don’t know, but I promise to try to find out.” In this sentence they are admitting they are human, they don’t hold all the answers, and that’s OK. However, they are not crushing your hope because they are promising to find out.

I am not writing this to criticize doctors. I am writing this hoping a doctor will see it or a patient will bring it to a doctor’s attention that they do not have to have all the answers, and being honest is all that people can expect of them.

All I want from doctors is honesty and the simple phrase above would mean the world coming from health professional.

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Thinkstock photo via Design Pics.