How to Explain Yourself to a Doctor

I feel bad for my doctor. Really, for doctors in general. We all focus on the fact that many of them make really good money, but we don’t think much about what they do to earn that money. I’m not even talking about the pressure, which has to be unbelievably intense.

It can feel silly to try to tell a doctor how your symptoms feel, but the doctor has to listen to your vague, idiosyncratic descriptions and try to figure out what “it feels like my brain is vibrating” means. Nobody likes giving a urine or fecal sample, but would you really rather receive the sample? And don’t get me started on the prostate exam. Guys act like it’s this terrible experience that the doctors force on them, but they don’t think about the fact that the doctor doesn’t enjoy the prostate exams either. I promise you, if it didn’t actually have the potential to save your life, the doctor would probably avoid doing them at all cost. And yes, there are times when the problem you bring to the doctor is humiliating for you to discuss, but the doctor has to listen to you discuss it, then probably ask to see it, or if they’re particularly unlucky, palpate it.

Doctors earn their money.


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