An interesting post appeared on the physician website Sermo the other day.
A woman said that she hides the fact that she is a doctor for fear of being overcharged for goods and services and that she hates being asked medical questions in social situations. Read the entire post plus comments here. [Free registration required.]
Over 100 comments were received and at least 95% concurred with the idea that one should not reveal that one is a doctor even if directly asked what one does for a living. Some of the comments echoed the post and others brought up issues such as the feeling that doctors are no longer liked or respected.
How far we have fallen.
It is a shame that most MDs don't want to admit what they do. But I do the same thing. I do not tell trades people or car salesmen what I do. I keep a low profile when meeting new people. When I am forced to reveal this dark secret, I hate having to explain what a general surgeon does. Yes, it’s a specialty. I take out appendices, gallbladders and most of whatever else ails you. Try explaining what a surgical hospitalist does.
I also don’t like to be presented with acquaintances’ symptoms and asked to give advice. And I don’t have a CT scanner in my house or car so how can I possibly make an accurate diagnosis? [Joke]
I especially hate it when someone tells me that they are all set to have a procedure done by Dr. Stonehands and what do I think? It is a “no win” situation. If I tell you the guy is no good, then you might tell him I said so. If I don’t and you have a complication, I’ll feel bad. How about asking me for advice before you are already scheduled? But better yet—don’t ask me at all.
The Sermo sample of 100 is obviously not definitive. I wonder how most doctors feel about this issue.