doctor not paying attention to patient

Things That Annoy Me As A Patient

Last updated: May 2019

After being a patient for more than 15 years, there’s a lot I’ve observed - good and bad. More recently, I’ve been in and out of a lot of specialists office in the past two years. Here are a few things I’ve observed that really bother me, that you might encounter too.

The things that annoy me as a patient

Not listening to what I'm actually telling you

Sometimes you write down the opposite of what I say.

Ignoring massive milestones for your patient

I once had a GI who didn’t care about any of my accomplishments despite surgery and several hospitalizations. Quite a few years ago, I came into my GI office so proud of accomplishing a half marathon, just weeks after rectal surgery. I was met with ignorance and he didn’t even acknowledge that I was having a conversation with him. (And yes, I fired him).

Stretch for joint pain

Telling you to “stretch and you will feel all better - you need to stretch and you will be fine.” I actually had a Rheumatologist recently tell me that I don’t stretch enough and that is the reason for my joint pain. This doctor also asked 50 questions a minute and wrote down the opposite of what my symptoms were. Imagine having an arthritic disease and meeting a specialist who tells you “stretching is your cure!”

Difficulties with communication

The language barrier between patients and doctors and NPs from another country. There is a certain amount of intimidation on the patient’s behalf when there is a communication barrier between the care team and patient.

Listing off all 20 of my meds

No one listens when I tell them all is current. “I was just here yesterday and went through each one” is usually met with an eye roll. Recently, I had an RN who didn’t speak English well, so she told me she would like to hear all the names and still go through this- something I already did ahead of time on my patient portal, which was clearly not looked at by anyone at this specific appointment. So it took us 35 minutes to get through my med list because she requested that I sound them all out for her. I didn’t mind, but to do this with all 20 meds and to give the last time you took each medication isn’t necessary for a regular appointment.

When they don't look at my chart

Not looking at the patient's chart before entering the room. (I think we have all experienced this at least once in our lives if not many times more).

Talking in the hallway

Hearing other doctors and assistants talking about me and my treatment plan outside the exam room for everyone to hear about.

No eye contact

With body language like no eye contact, it shows me there is not an obvious passion with connecting with your patients in your career

When these red flags are present, how do you react, if you do?

What are things that have bothered you?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

What has been the most helpful for managing IBD symptoms?