No matter what you are feeling or how well you take care of yourself, it is important to see a doctor, even for an occasional check-up. But sometimes that experience can be uncomfortable. Indeed exposing your body and lifestyle choices to a stranger can be intimidating is not always easy, but as a patient you have rights and, more importantly, you have power.
Doctors need patients. Their job is to help you to get better. Remember that, first and foremost.
Why Do We Find Doctors Intimidating
Yes, they go to school for a long time and yes, they know a lot of big words. You pay them a lot of money to guess at what is making you sick and what can make you better. If you feel intimidated around your doctor it is likely that you view their knowledge and experience to be of more value than your own. When your toilet leaks or your car breaks down don’t you call a plumber or a mechanic?
So when you are sick, wouldn’t you simply rely on a doctor because you know they are qualified to get the job done?
Remember that doctors go to school for many years to get the specialized knowledge patients need to feel comfortable in their abilities. That knowledge should not be intimidating to you.
What are Your Personal “Buttons” with Doctors?
If you find that your doctor is intimidating it might have more to do with personal “hot buttons” than that doctor’s attitude. Maybe the doctor speaks too fast or with too much panache and these don’t appeal to your tastes. Maybe you prefer one gender over another. While some might argue discrimination, the most important thing to remember when you visit the doctor is that you need to trust they want the best options for you. If you can’t understand them and they won’t slow down, get another doctor. If you are a woman and you prefer a female clinician, ask for one!
Reframing These Empowering Beliefs
You are the patient. You are in charge of your health. Doctors have the dutiful task of serving you. If you feel intimidated, remember that they can’t do their job without patients to treat and the good doctors know that your comfort and care is the most important thing. You have the right to shop around for a doctor the same way you would shop around for a new car or a new home. You have the right to seek out the best possible doctor for your care.