I have often heard patients complain about their arrogant doctors, doctors with bad bedside manner, or a God complex. They say that their doctors are demeaning, talk down to them, or barely talk to them at all. They speak in another language using medical jargon purposely making the patient feel inferior and at the mercy of their brilliant doctor’s brilliant brain.
I also know that some people may find a blogging doctor to be off-putting. It makes them uncomfortable. Maybe I reveal too much about the inner-workings of the medical field. Maybe betray confidences of the patients that seek my care. Maybe get too personal, reveal too much. Seem too human. Too vulnerable. Too much like everyone else.
Patients don’t realize it and maybe society is in denial, but they all want their doctors to be Gods. Because Gods don’t make mistakes. Gods can make you live forever.
That’s an impossible feat for a mere human. Even a mere human that went to medical school. The best that any human can acquire is the level of “god.” And that pales in comparison to a God. In fact, it really means nothing at all.
The God complex is a societal invention. The doctor is just trying their damnedest to oblige. They look like jerks for trying because they will always fail. And it’s killing them.
Imagine the standards placed on a doctor. Professional. Stoic. Pensive. Void of emotion. Even-tempered. Calm. Poised. Restrained. Clean and neat. Scientific. Unfaltering. Tireless. Knowledgeable. Pressed. Starched. Learned. Refined.
Sounds like a dried up old turd to me. How can you take care of humans when you have removed yourself from the human race? You’ve been placed on a pedestal by society. Except there’s a trap door and a noose is around your neck. It’s only a matter of time. The human can only pretend to be a God for so long until they fail. In fact, society kind of likes to see it happen. See, they weren’t so great after all. They are no better than the rest of us.
I have a confession to make. I am a doctor, but I am not a God, I’m not even a “god,” I’m merely a human. Just like you. Maybe I’ve read a few more books, had a few more experiences. I’ve been measured and tested and by all standards I get to call myself doctor. That is a privilege that I take very seriously, but not at the expense of my humanity.
My humanity is such that I have to process the things that happen in my life. Including that part of my life where I am a doctor. I tend to process through my writing. Sending out my thoughts into the ether, allowing it to ripple through the universe, dispelling my experiences and emotions. Sharing with others as they share with me all day every day. I suppose my humanity begs that I have the same chances for expression and sharing as everyone else. I am not stoic. Restrained. Void of emotion. Tireless. I falter. I often wear my Guns N Roses T-shirt to Walmart. Which means I’m not starched or pressed and I’m definitely not refined. I write. I share. I think I make a difference. I think I tear down some walls.
I think it matters that you see me as human. Imperfect. Emotional. Messy. Happy. Sad. Joyful. Fearful. Unsure. Artistic. Expressive. Curious. Understanding. Interested. Inquisitive. Right and wrong. Judgmental. Self deprecating. Confident. Silly. Cautious and carefree. Alive.